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International relations

U.N. rights head Bachelet starts landmark tour of China's Xinjiang

Beijing denies claims about internment camps, forced labor in Muslim region

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends an event in Geneva on November 3, 2021. Her office says the focus of her Xinjiang tour will be "on a dialogue with the Chinese authorities."   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Monday kicked off a landmark visit to China's controversial Xinjiang region, as rights groups warn that anything but unfettered access could damage her office's credibility.

The six-day tour comes after years of negotiations with the Chinese government to let Bachelet visit the western region where rights organizations say at least 1 million people have been imprisoned in internment camps, facing torture and forced labor.

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