Dozens of NGOs urge UN chief of rights to resign after China visit

‘MISSLESS IN ITS DUTY’

Instead, they said, “She condoned the Chinese government’s human rights atrocities” and “legalized Beijing’s attempt to cover up its crimes by using the Chinese government’s false ‘counter-terrorism’ framing” .

They also dismissed criticism that she had repeatedly referred to the detention camps in Xinjiang by the Chinese government’s preferred term of “vocational education and training centers”.

In particular, they complained that they have so far failed to report on the rights situation in China, which was completed last year, despite increasing demand to make it public.

“The repeated, open and inexplicable delays cast serious doubts on the credibility of its office in fulfilling its mandate,” the statement said.

The signatories said that during her four years in office, Bachelet “had been completely silent about the human rights crisis in Tibet”, and “grossly underestimated the crackdown in Hong Kong”.

“The failed visit by the High Commissioner has not only exacerbated the human rights crisis of those living under the Chinese government’s rule, but also seriously compromised the integrity of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in promoting and protecting the human rights worldwide.” the statement said.

While no major international rights groups have signed Wednesday’s statement, Human Rights Watch told AFP it shared the signatories’ frustration.

“When a government committing atrocities praises its visit, and Uyghurs and others who are being abused feel betrayed and demand her resignation, it is a clear indication that Bachelet has failed in her duty as high commissioner,” said John Fisher, deputy director from HRW’s Global Advocacy, said in an email.

The UN chief of rights, he said, “should work to restore this broken trust by immediately publishing its long-awaited report on Xinjiang abuses and taking concrete steps to identify the missing and detainees and reunite them with their loved ones.”

At the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva next week, Bachelet is expected to face significant critical assessment by states over her trip to China at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.