UN chief rejects claim he didn't condemn China over Muslims

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is strongly rejecting claims by five human rights groups that he hasn't condemned the Chinese government's detention of more than a million Muslims in the Xinjiang region, saying he has spoken out forcefully.

He said Wednesday: "I don't think anyone has been more persistent and more clear in talking to the Chinese authorities in relation to this issue than myself."

He added: "It is absolutely not true that I've only done discreet diplomacy."

On the contrary, he said during a visit to China in April he raised the issue publicly.

The five rights group said in a letter to Guterres circulated Tuesday that he would make a contribution by speaking out and calling for the immediate closure of detention camps for Muslims.