More than 200 rights groups demand the resignation of UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, June 9: More than 230 rights groups have called in a joint letter for the resignation of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet following her visit to China, where many have accused her of “laundering “The atrocities of the Chinese government in oppressed regions. Activists criticized his six-day visit, accusing him of devaluing the struggles of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Southern Mongolians, Hong Kongers among others. “We further call on the UN Secretary-General not to propose the renewal of her mandate and demand that the High Commissioner immediately publish the report on human rights violations against the Uyghurs and other Turkish communities in the East Turkestan. [Ch: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region]the open letter demanded the publication of the report on China promised by the UN last year.

The 17-year-old historic visit by a United Nations high commissioner was a “rare opportunity” to demand real accountability for the CCP government’s serious allegations of rights abuses. “Bachelet failed to offer a single specific recommendation to address the gravity of the human rights crisis. This dismal failure to hold the Chinese government accountable for its crimes comes despite an unprecedented call in June 2020 by more than 50 UN experts for ‘decisive action’ to protect fundamental freedoms in China. communicated.

Bachelet’s controversial visit to China has drawn heavy criticism for sidelining human rights issues, particularly in Xinjiang, which was the focus of his visit, where observers have claimed a ‘genocide’ of the Uyghur minority community was taking place under Chinese rule. “The High Commissioner legitimized Beijing’s attempt to cover up its crimes using the Chinese government‘s false ‘counter-terrorism’ framing and repeatedly referred to the notorious internment camps by the Chinese government’s term:” Vocational Education and Training Centers (VETC),” the groups added. Bachelet, in his closing statement, addressed the attacks on Uyghurs in the context of “de-radicalization measures” and described China as the proponent of a single, multi-tiered society.

Earlier this month, more than 200 activists and human rights groups urged High Commissioner Bachelet to postpone her official visit to China or “risk walking on a minefield of propaganda laid by the CCP” in a press release. During her tenure, she remained strangely silent on the human rights crisis in Tibet, for when she mentioned Tibet during her end-of-visit press conference, she did not “criticize and addressed the unprecedented, systematic and increasing attacks against Tibetans. language and identity today. The group said they were furious that she posed “naively” for a photo op with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The letter debunked Bachelet’s statement in which she said a virtual meeting with a number of civil society organizations had taken place to back up her problematic statement. “She failed to mention that this was the first time in four years that she had agreed to meet with affected communities despite constant requests. By arranging a two-hour virtual meeting a few days before her visit, she limited the space and scope for any substantive discussion,” the open letter said, adding that the meeting only took place after the groups demanded that the high commissioner cancel his plans to visit or risk walking in a Chinese-laid propaganda minefield.