Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Geneva [Switzerland], October 6 (ANI): 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".

The OHCHR said that the government policy in recent years in Xinjiang has "led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue restrictions on a wide range of human rights." Even if the VETC system has as China says, "been reduced in scope or wound up", said OHCHR, "the laws and policies that underpin it remain in place", leading to increased use of imprisonment.

The systems of arbitrary detention and related patterns of abuse since 2017, said OHCHR, "come against the backdrop of broader discrimination" against Uyghur and other minorities.

"This has included far-reaching, arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international laws and standards", including restrictions on religious freedom and the rights to privacy and movement.

The assessment is based on a rigorous review of documentary material currently available to the Office, with its credibility assessed in accordance with standard human rights methodology.

Particular attention was paid to the government's laws, policies, data and statements. The Office also requested information and engaged in dialogue and technical exchanges with China throughout the process.

The information was assessed against applicable international human rights law and builds on the work of a number of UN human rights mechanisms.Notably, the UN's assessment comes at the time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is poised to break with tradition by taking on a third term. (ANI)

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