US lawmakers on Tuesday called on the UN human rights chief to release a report on Xinjiang, where Washington accused China of committing genocide against minority Uighur Muslims ahead of the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Publishing the report ahead of the Games starting February 4 will “confirm the fact that no country is beyond scrutiny or above international law,” said Senator Jeff Merkle and Representative James McGovern, of the Congressional Executive Committee on China. Top Democrats to lead.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s former president, has been asking Beijing for “meaningful and unhindered access” to Xinjiang for years, but so far no such visit has been possible.
In mid-December, a spokesman for the High Commissioner indicated that a report could be published in “a few weeks”.
But human rights defenders are calling on the United Nations to be tough. Several rights organizations have accused China of locking up at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang.
Beijing denies this figure and describes the camps as “vocational training centers” to support employment and fight religious extremism.
The United States, Australia, Canada and Britain announced that they would not send official representation to the Olympics due to “the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang and crimes against humanity and other human rights violations”.
Nevertheless, athletes from these countries will take part in the competitions.
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