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US, UK Seek UN Human Rights Debate About China's Xinjiang

US, UK Seek UN Human Rights Debate About China's Xinjiang

Monday, 26 September, 2022 - 10:00
A general view during a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Countries including the United States and the United Kingdom are calling for a debate at the UN Human Rights Council to discuss concerns about China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang, a document showed and diplomats said on Monday.


A group of countries had been considering action at the ongoing council meeting in Geneva following the release of a much-anticipated UN report published last month which stipulates that "serious human rights violations have been committed" in Xinjiang that may amount to crimes against humanity.


China vigorously denies any abuses and has sent a government delegation to Geneva to counter what it claims are erroneous findings by the UN rights office and says it is "ready for the fight" if action is taken against it.


The so-called "draft decision" reviewed by Reuters seeks a debate during the council's next session that begins in February.


The 47-member council is deeply divided over the latest allegations against China, a 'P5' member with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council that has deep economic ties with many developing countries. The call for a debate is seen as a less confrontational option than a resolution which could have sought an investigation into the Xinjiang allegations.


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