UN’s Bachelet says China trip not for a probe, faces criticism

faces criticism UN human rights chief Bachelet says no to second term, ‘no relationship’ to China trip
Michelle Bachelet, 70, says she will spend more time with family in Chile; some diplomats expected her to stay on when 4-year term ends in August
She was criticised by rights groups and some governments over her visit last month to China; they said she did not do enough to act against alleged abuses against Uygurs in western region of Xinjiang

Zeya, US undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, testifying before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Washington on Wednesday.

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Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, during the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday. Photo: dpa
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, during the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday. Photo: dpa
The United Nations human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, say on Monday that she would not seek a second term for personal reasons. Refuting speculation that it was a decision linked to blowback over her trip to China last month.
Bachelet has faced mounting criticism for not speaking out more forcefully against allegations of widespread rights abuses in some countries, most notably in China.
The 70-year-old was criticised by rights groups as well as some Western governments. Including the United States, who said the conditions Chinese authorities imposed on her visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the rights environment.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and the UN’s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet seen on a giant screen in Beijing last month broadcasting news of their virtual meeting. Photo: Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping and the UN’s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet seen on a giant screen in Beijing last month broadcasting news of their virtual meeting. Photo: Reuters
“As my term as High Commissioner draws to a close. This Council’s milestone fiftieth session will be the last which I brief,” she said in a surprise announcement at the end of a wide-ranging speech to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

Later, she said the decision was not related to her China trip faces criticism,

adding that she intended to return to Chile and spend time with her family.
“Two months ago, before even going to China, I made a decision and I informed my boss, the Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres). So it has no relationship,” she told reporters.
Some diplomats said they had expected Bachelet, a 70-year-old former president of Chile, to stay on after her four-year term expires in August. There was murmuring in the Geneva Council room when she made the announcement.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet ended a controversial six-day visit to China on Saturday. Saying she had held frank talks with Beijing and that it was “not an investigation”.

This content was published on May 28, 2022 – 17:04May 28, 2022 – 17:04 faces criticism

Other language: 1 (EN original)
Bachelet, the top official of the UN’s Geneva-based human rights office, told a virtual press conference that she had visited Kashgar prison and the Kashgar Experimental School in the Xinjiang region. Where human rights campaigners accuse China of widescale abuses against Uyghurs and other minority groups, including the torture. Forced labour and detention of some one million people in internment camps.

China says the camps are re-education and training facilities and denies any abuse. Saying it is fighting terrorism and religious extremism.

Last year, Switzerland was among 40 countries that put pressure on Beijing External linkto allow Bachelet “meaningful and unfettered” access to Xinjiang. However, the terms agree Beijing and Bachelet’s office for this visit not make public. The US State Department and some human rights groups urged her to call it off, for fear that it could use as Chinese government propaganda. Coinciding with the visit. International media released hacked Chinese police documentsExternal link said to show the scale of abuse in Xinjiang detention camps, including a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape.

Tibet, Hong Kong and the death penalty faces criticism

Bachelet met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (virtually) as well as other national and regional officials. Civil society, women’s groups and business leaders.

“Official visits by a High Commissioner are by their nature high-profile and simply not conducive to the kind of detailed, methodical, discreet work of an investigative nature,” she told the press.

“The visit was an opportunity to hold direct discussions. With China’s most senior leaders – on human rights (…) with a view to supporting China in fulfilling its obligations under international human rights law.”

She said she had urged Beijing to review all counter terrorism and deradicalization policies to ensure “that they not apply in an arbitrary and discriminatory way”. To provide information to Uyghur families who have lost contact with their loved ones. Bachelet told the press she had also raised human rights concerns with regard to Tibet, Hong Kong and the death penalty.