Beijing: The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has rejected a request by the United States and European countries to discuss violations of the rights of Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China. Last week, the UN’s top human rights body rejected a proposal by Western countries, including the United States and Britain, to hold a debate on alleged human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims. and other ethnic minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The debate motion was based on a report released last August by the United Nations High Commission, which said the violations took place against the backdrop of the Chinese government’s claim that it targets minority terrorists. Uyghur with a counter-extremism strategy that involves the use of so-called Vocational Education and Training Centers (VETCs) or re-education camps. Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Cuba and Venezuela were among the 19 countries that voted against the motion to discuss the report. Apparently, these countries do not want to offend China or are responsible under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, the WSJ said.
The WSJ editorial board pointed out that four countries on the list that have ignored documented persecution of a Chinese Muslim minority group are Muslim-majority nations. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world and Pakistan’s state religion is Islam. Earlier, in August, the United Nations High Commission released a report saying the violations took place against the backdrop of the Chinese government’s claim that it is targeting terrorists from the Uyghur minority with a counter-terrorism strategy. extremism that involves the use of such – called Vocational Education and Training Centers (VETC), or re-education camps.
In a strong 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 Uyghurs and others, in the context of “restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights, exercised individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity”.
The assessment was launched following serious allegations of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities brought to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Office and mechanisms United Nations Human Rights Tribunal at the end of 2017, particularly in the context of the Chinese government’s policies and measures to combat terrorism and “extremism”. The OHCHR said government policy in recent years in Xinjiang has “led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue restrictions of a wide range of human rights”. Even though the VETC system has, as China puts it, “been reduced in scope or abolished,” the OHCHR said, “the laws and policies that underpin it remain in place,” resulting in increased recourse to imprisonment.
Notably, the UN assessment comes at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to break with tradition by assuming a third term. According to WSJ. pragmatists might rejoice that the motion failed by only two votes, after a fierce lobbying campaign by Beijing to defeat it. But what a shame. Everyone knows that the UNHRC is a chasm of moral equivalence. But if he can’t pass a motion simply to open a discussion about China’s abuses in Xinjiang, there’s no reason for him to exist, or for the United States to continue to be a member.