U.N. physique rejects debate on China’s therapy of Uyghur Muslims in blow to West By Reuters

By Emma Farge

GENEVA (Reuters) -The U.N. rights council on Thursday voted down a Western-led movement to carry a debate about alleged human rights abuses by China towards Uyghurs and different Muslims in Xinjiang in a victory for Beijing because it seeks to keep away from additional scrutiny.

The defeat (19 towards, 17 for, 11 abstentions) is just the second time within the council’s 16-year historical past {that a} movement has been rejected and is seen by observers as a setback to each accountability efforts, the West’s ethical authority on human rights and the credibility of the United Nations itself.

The US, Canada and Britain had been among the many international locations that introduced the movement.

“It is a catastrophe. That is actually disappointing,” mentioned Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, whose mom died in a camp and whose two brothers are lacking.

“We’ll by no means hand over however we’re actually upset by the response of Muslim international locations,” he added.

Qatar, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan rejected the movement, with the latter citing the chance of alienating China.


China’s envoy had warned earlier than the vote that the movement would create a precedent for inspecting different international locations’ human rights information.

“At the moment China is focused. Tomorrow some other creating nation will likely be focused,” mentioned Chen Xu, including {that a} debate would result in “new confrontations”.

The U.N. rights workplace on Aug. 31 launched a long-delayed report that discovered critical human rights violations in Xinjiang which will represent crimes towards humanity, ramping up stress on China.

Rights teams accuse Beijing of abuses towards Uyghurs, a primarily Muslim ethnic minority that numbers round 10 million within the western area of Xinjiang, together with the mass use of compelled labour in internment camps. The US has accused China of genocide. Beijing vigorously denies any abuses.


The movement is the primary time that the rights report of China, a robust everlasting Safety Council member, has been on the agenda of the council. The merchandise has stoked divisions and a diplomat mentioned states had been beneath “monumental stress” from Beijing to again it.

International locations like Britain, america and Germany, vowed to proceed to work in direction of accountability regardless of Thursday’s end result.

However activists mentioned the defeat of such a restricted movement, which stopped in need of searching for an investigation, would make it troublesome to place it again on the agenda.

Common Rights Group’s Marc Limon mentioned it was a “horrible miscalculation.”

“It is a critical blow for the credibility of the council and a transparent victory for China,” he mentioned. “Many creating international locations will see it as adjustment away from western predominance within the U.N. human rights system.”

The occasion raised political dilemmas for a lot of poor international locations within the 47-member council who’re loath to publicly defy China for worry of jeapordising Chinese language funding.

Others most likely wished to keep away from future scrutiny themselves.

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