U.N. body rejects debate on China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims in blow to West

Uyghurs and United kingdom Muslim organizations gathering opposite the Chinese embassy in London to protest towards the Chinese government’s involvement in ongoing human legal rights abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities on 31 July 2022.

Thomas Krych | Lightrocket | Getty Pictures

The U.N. legal rights council on Thursday voted down a Western-led motion to maintain a debate about alleged human legal rights abuses by China in opposition to Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang in a victory for Beijing as it seeks to stay clear of even more scrutiny.

The defeat — 19 from, 17 for, 11 abstentions — is only the next time in the council’s 16-calendar year heritage that a movement has been turned down and is found by observers as a setback to both equally accountability attempts, the West’s ethical authority on human legal rights and the believability of the United Nations by itself.

The United States, Canada and Britain ended up between the international locations that introduced the motion.

“This is a catastrophe. This is seriously disappointing,” reported Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, whose mom died in a camp and whose two brothers are missing.

“We will hardly ever give up but we are really unhappy by the response of Muslim nations,” he added.
Qatar, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan rejected the movement, with the latter citing the threat of alienating China. Phil Lynch, director of the Intercontinental Assistance for Human Rights, named the voting document “shameful” on Twitter.

“Xinjiang-related concerns are not human rights issues at all, but troubles of counter-terrorism, de-radicalization and anti-separatism,” claimed China’s international ministry late on Thursday.

The movement was an try by the United States and some Western nations to “use the UN human rights overall body to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” explained the foreign ministry in a write-up on its official web-site.

New targets ‘tomorrow’

China’s envoy had warned before the vote that the movement would develop a precedent for analyzing other countries’ human rights records.

“Now China is targeted. Tomorrow any other acquiring region will be focused,” said Chen Xu, adding that a discussion would direct to “new confrontations.”

The U.N. rights place of work on Aug. 31 unveiled a extensive-delayed report that uncovered major human legal rights violations in Xinjiang that may possibly represent crimes against humanity, ramping up strain on China.

Legal rights groups accuse Beijing of abuses against Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority that quantities about 10 million in the western area of Xinjiang, such as the mass use of forced labor in internment camps. The United States has accused China of genocide. Beijing vigorously denies any abuses.

‘Enormous pressure’

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