Swiss summon Chinese ambassador after UN report on Xinjiang: official

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Switzerland summoned China's ambassador following the publication last week of a long-awaited UN report listing a litany of serious abuses in China's Xinjiang region, the government said Wednesday.

Switzerland had "summoned China's ambassador to Bern to convey to him Switzerland's concerns following the publication of the... report on the situation in Xinjiang," the foreign ministry told AFP in an email.

The landmark report -- released minutes before UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet left office -- detailed a string of rights violations including torture, forced labour and arbitrary detention, bringing the UN seal to many of the allegations long made by activist groups, Western nations and the Uyghur community in exile.

The report said China may have carried out "crimes against humanity" but stopped short of calling Beijing's treatment of the Uyghurs "genocide", a term used since January 2021 by the United States and since embraced by legislatures of a number of other Western nations.

China has vehemently rejected such charges and slammed the report, accusing the UN of becoming a "thug and accomplice of the US and the West".

Swiss ambassador to the UN in Geneva Jurg Lauber told reporters Wednesday that his country thought the report was "very good quality".

"It is quite objective on the facts and also very clear in its findings," he said, adding that Switzerland would like to see "China implement the recommendations in the report".

The Swiss foreign ministry stressed that Bern "has regularly communicated its strong concerns with regards to the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang".

It said it was "convinced that the best way to preserve its interests and the respect for fundamental rights is to conduct a critical and constructive dialogue with Beijing".