Treatment of Uyghur Muslims: India abstain from voting against China at UNHRC | World News

Geneva [Switzerland]: India on Thursday abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China`s Xinjiang. The draft resolution on “holding a debate on the situation of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China” was rejected in the 47-member Council after 17 members voted in favour, 19 members voted against, including China, and 11 abstentions, including India, Brazil, Mexico and Ukraine. “India has never supported country-specific issues in Human Rights Council,” sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistan voted against the resolution.

Pakistani envoy`s statement in UNHRC over Xinjiang exposes the country`s double standards. On one hand, Pakistan claims to speak for Muslims and on the other hand, it “appreciated” China`s “efforts” to protect its minority in Xinjiang, a region which has been widely known for Beijing`s grave human rights violations. It is pertinent to mention that 12 out of 17 (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)countries voted in favour of China. Four of these OIC countries abstained. Somalia is the only OIC country that voted in favour of the decision of holding a debate on the human rights situation in China`s Xinjiang.

A UN report said that the violations have taken place in the context of the Chinese Government`s assertion that it is targeting terrorists among the Uyghur minority with a counter-extremism strategy that involves the use of so-called Vocational Educational and Training Centres (VETCs), or re-education camps. In a strongly-worded assessment at the end of the report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that the extent of arbitrary detentions against Uyghur and others, in the context of “restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights, enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.” 

The assessment was initiated following serious allegations of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities brought to the attention of the UN Human Rights Office and UN human rights mechanisms in late 2017, particularly in the context of the Chinese Government`s policies and measures to combat terrorism and “extremism”.

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