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Xinjiang: UN rights council rejects debate on China’s remedy of Uyghur Muslims

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

The defeat – 19 in opposition to, 17 for, 11 abstentions – is barely 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 nations 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 are going to by no means quit however we’re actually upset by the response of Muslim nations,” he added.

Qatar, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan rejected the movement, with the latter citing the danger of alienating China. Phil Lynch, director of the Worldwide Service for Human Rights, known as the voting document “shameful” on Twitter.

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

“Right now China is focused. Tomorrow another creating nation can be focused,” mentioned Chen Xu, including {that a} debate would result in “new confrontations”.

The UN rights workplace on August 31 launched a long-delayed report that discovered critical human rights violations in Xinjiang that will represent crimes in opposition to humanity, ramping up stress on China.

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

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

Nations like Britain, america and Germany, vowed to proceed to work in the direction of accountability regardless of Thursday’s final result.

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

Common Rights Group’s Marc Limon mentioned it was a “critical miscalculation”, citing the timing which coincides with a Western-led movement for motion on Russia.

“It’s a critical blow for the credibility of the council and a transparent victory for China,” he mentioned. “Many creating nations will see it as an adjustment away from Western predominance within the UN human rights system.”

The occasion raised political dilemmas for a lot of poor nations within the 47-member council who’re loath to publicly defy China for worry of jeopardizing funding.

Others in all probability wished to keep away from future scrutiny themselves.

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