February 27, 2020 / 10:06 AM / a month ago

U.N. rights boss seeks advance team access for China trip

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations rights boss Michelle Bachelet called on China on Thursday to provide “unfettered access for an advance team” to prepare her proposed visit, saying it should include a probe into the situation of the Uighur minority.

Bachelet’s speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council followed remarks a day before by China’s ambassador, Chen Xu, who told the forum that his country was looking forward to her visit, including to Xinjiang this year.

U.N. experts and activists say at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centers in Xinjiang. China describes them as training centers helping to stamp out terrorism and extremism and give people new skills.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Michael Shields

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