UN demands 'unfettered access' for visit to China's Uighur region

United Nations rights boss called on on Thursday to provide " for an advance team" to prepare her proposed , saying it should include a probe into the situation of the . U.N. experts and activists say at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in .

A team preparing for the possible to the tightly controlled Muslim-majority Chinese region of Xinjiang this year should be given "unfettered access", Michelle Bachelet said on Thursday.

In a speech in Geneva, Bachelet welcomed the invitation from to tour the region but added: "We will continue to request unfettered access for an advance team in preparation for this proposed visit".

"We will seek to analyse in depth the human rights situation in China, including the situation of members of the Uighur minority," she said, addressing the UN Human Rights Council.

China has come under international criticism for its treatment of the Uighurs, with activists and witnesses saying it is trying to forcibly integrate the mostly Muslim ethnic group and strip them of their Islamic heritage.

The UN rights chief typically only undertakes national visits provided the host government offers guarantees on certain conditions, including to key sites and the right to speak with activists.

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