UN: India abstains from voting on China's 'Uyghur Muslims' oppression
India abstained from voting on a draft resolution led by the West at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday for a debate on the alleged human rights violations in China's Xinjiang region against Uyghur Muslims. The motion was rejected as of the total 47 members, 19 voted against it, including China, Nepal, and Pakistan, 17 voted for it, and 11 abstained.
Why does this story matter?
- For years, China has been facing allegations of cracking down on the Uyghurs — a Turkic ethnic minority considered a native of the autonomous resource-rich Xinjiang region in the country's north-western part.
- In an attempt to corner China, which is challenging its global dominance, the West has propped up reports of Chinese internment camps for Uyghurs, indoctrination disguised as re-education, torture, and forced labor.
Most Asian, African countries voted down the draft resolution
Muslim countries also voted against the motion
The resolution was presented by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the US, and was sponsored by a host of countries including Turkey. This comes after former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's report on the purported gross human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims. Muslim countries such as Indonesia, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates voted against the resolution.
India abstains from country-specific resolutions
India did not explain its position on the vote. Reports said that traditionally, India has voted against or abstained from voting on resolutions on country-specific issues. Apart from India, the countries which abstained from voting were Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Brazil, Gambia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico and Ukraine. Except Somalia, all the African member countries voted against the motion, showing support for China.
Evidence inconclusive to establish violations as state-sponsored
A week ago, a Netherlands-based group — the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) raised the issue of the Uyghurs at the UNHRC in an attempt to hold the Chinese government accountable. Speaking about the report on Uyghurs, Aaron Magunna, research analyst at EFSAS, expressed disappointment with the report, saying the evidence was inconclusive to establish the human rights violations as state-sponsored.