On Wednesday, March 10, Reuters reported that the United States called on China to ensure United Nations’ (U.N.) human rights delegates had “unhindered and unsupervised access” to all Xinjiang region areas to investigate Muslim Uyghurs’ situation.
The delegates, led by U.N. human rights chief Michele Bachelet, will visit China in May. The visit would include a stop in Xinjiang, China’s remote western region, where activists accused that about 1 million Uyghurs have been unlawfully detained, mistreated, and forced to work.
China’s government denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational centers to combat extremism. In late 2019, it said that all people in the camps had “graduated.”
Bachelet’s office started collecting evidence of alleged abuses against Uyghurs 3-1/2 years ago. In December 2021, her spokesperson had promised to publish her findings.
Sheba Crocker, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said in a statement that for a credible visit, Bachelet should organize private meetings with Uyghurs and other groups in Xinjiang. Crocker proposed that U.N. human rights delegates need to be granted access to places where forced labor has been reported.
In a related development, according to I.B. Times, on Monday, the Norwegian central bank stated that it would divest from sports brand Li-Ning, a China company, “due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to serious council human rights violations” in Xinjiang.