United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken raised concerns this weekend over what he said was a lack of transparency from the Chinese government and law enforcement during a recent visit to the Xinjiang region of China to assess the treatment of the Uyghur and other minorities.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visited the Xinjiang region last week amid allegations and international concern that the Chinese government is oppressing and incarcerating Uyghur, Turcik and other minorities in the region.
During Bachelet’s visit, a trove of leaked documents and photos obtained from the computer servers of Xinjiang law enforcement supported the claims of improper imprisonment and mistreatment of minorities.
In a statement on Saturday, US Secretary of State Blinken questioned the level of transparency from Chinese law enforcement during Bachelet’s visit, and revealed troubling reports of citizens in the area being instructed not to reveal any information about the treatment of minorities in the region while Bachelet was visiting.
Blinken also expressed concern over the fact that during the High Commissioner’s visit, “no insight was provided into the whereabouts of hundreds of missing Uyghurs and conditions for over a million individuals in detention.”
“While we continue to raise our concerns about China’s human rights abuses directly with Beijing and support others who do so, we are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment,” said Blinken in the statement.
For her part, Bachelet says her visit was more an effort to open a discussion with China about the controversial region.
“The visit was an opportunity to hold direct discussions — with China’s most senior leaders — on human rights, to listen to each other, raise concerns, explore and pave the way for more regular, meaningful interactions in the future, with a view to supporting China in fulfilling its obligations under international human rights law,” she said.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON POST
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