Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights, stated that she had been in China for six days and that it was not an investigation.
The 70-year-old ex-Chilean president said that she was able to talk with "candor," to communist leaders, about the repression in Xinjiang (northwest), in the name anti-terrorism.
The Chinese region of Xinjiang has been the site of many bloody attacks on civilians over the years. These attacks were committed by Uyghur separatists as well as Islamists, the largest ethnic group in the area. Xinjiang has been under draconian surveillance since many years.
Western studies claim that Beijing has held more than a million Uyghurs, and other Muslim ethnic group members in "reeducation camps", as well as imposing "forced labor or forced sterilizations".
Beijing is accused by Uyghur diaspora members and human rights groups of having caught people who haven't been convicted of any crime in its anti-terrorism campaign. They claim that Uyghurs were interned solely on the basis of presumptive extremism. This could be because they have a long beard, suspicious travel abroad, or strong religious beliefs.
China condemns biased reporting and refers to "vocational training centres" that are intended to create employment and eliminate extremism. She denied any forced sterilization and said only that she would follow the national birth control policies.
It is called "genocide" by the US and Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said that he was concerned about Beijing's efforts to "restrict and manipulate this movement". He stated that he was troubled by reports that Xinjiang residents were warned not to complain about the conditions in the area or openly discuss them.
Michelle Bachelet urged China to refrain from "arbitrary and indiscriminate” measures in Xinjiang on Saturday, while condemning "violent acts by extremism".
The World Uyghur Congress considers words too conciliatory. This exile organization based in Germany is considered separatist by Beijing. In a statement, he said that "if a High Commissioner of Human Rights is silent, it's because she is failing to fulfill her duties." "Resigning is all she can do to be meaningful"
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, lamented the fact that Ms Bachelet was subject to a "very predictable propaganda maneuver" by the Chinese government.
China's state media reported that this week she had praised China for its progress in human rights. This is a statement that UN services have not denied or confirmed. They reported only the most polished accounts of his meetings in Beijing with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping.
Amnesty International has asked Michelle Bachelet for her report on Xinjiang. The publication of this report has been repeatedly delayed. Otherwise, it would "amount to a betrayal to the victims and their family." Many Uighurs claim they don't know where their relatives are. Michelle Bachelet stated that "this issue and other have been raised with authorities" and added that she had "raised many cases."
She was strongly defended by the High Commissioner, who claimed that she had been able "unsupervised" access to the people she wanted to visit in Xinjiang. Michelle Bachelet claims that she met members of civil society as well as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights visited China for the first time in 17 years. This visit follows hard negotiations between Beijing and the UN.
Michelle Bachelet visited Xinjiang, the regional capital, Urumqi. She said that she visited a Kashgar prison, where she saw particular prisoners.