Human rights of people in Xinjiang must be respected and guaranteed: India abstains from UNHRC vote against China’s treatment of Uyghurs

New Delhi: India said Friday that the rights of people in China’s Xinjiang region must be “respected and guaranteed”, but noted that its decision to abstain from a resolution on concerns before the UN Human Rights Commission was in line with the practice of not vote on country-specific resolutions.

It is the first time that India has made a clear call for respect for the human rights of the people of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

“The human rights of the people of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region must be respected and guaranteed. We hope that the concerned party will deal with the situation objectively and correctly,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His comments came at a media briefing when asked about India’s abstention from the UN rights body over the resolution calling for a debate on the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

“India remains committed to upholding all human rights. India’s voice is consistent with its long-held position that country-specific resolutions are never useful. India favors dialogue to address such issues,” he said.

Bagchi said India has taken note of the assessment of human rights concerns in Xinjiang by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

“We have taken note of the OHCHR assessment of human rights issues in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China,” he said.

The motion for a resolution was pushed by a group comprising Canada, Denmark, Finland, the UK, US, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and was co-sponsored by several other countries.

In its recent report, the OCHCR said serious human rights violations have been committed in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the context of the Chinese government’s application of counter-terrorism and extremism strategies.

“The implementation of these strategies and associated policies in XUAR has resulted in interlocking patterns of severe and unnecessary restrictions on a wide range of human rights,” it said.

“These patterns of restrictions are characterized by a discriminatory component, as the underlying acts often directly or indirectly affect Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities,” the report said.

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