By Peter Kenny
GENEVA (AA) – The UN Human Rights office said Friday that its chief Michelle Bachelet will begin a six-day official visit to China next week, at the invitation of Beijing.
“This is the first country visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to China since 2005,” the UN right office said in a statement.
During her visit from May 23-28, the readout said, Bachelet will meet several high-level officials at the national and local levels, but the statement had little information on what contact will take place concerning the minority Uyghurs.
The high commissioner, who will visit Guangzhou, Kashgar and Urumqi, will also meet civil society organizations, business representatives and academics, and deliver a lecture to students at Guangzhou University. She is expected to hold a news briefing at the end of her visit on May 28.
The cities of Kashgar and Urumqi are located in the Xinjiang autonomous region, which is home to Uyghurs.
Ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang have been subjected to years of abuse because of their identity and culture, according to international human rights organizations.
At least 1 million Uyghurs are said to kept against their will “vocational training centers.” But critics say the places are meant for indoctrination, abuse, and torture.