In a massive development, ambassadors of 50 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva have written a Co-signed letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and to the president of UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in support of China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This is an added development to the letter which was sent on July 12 signed by representatives of 37 countries. The countries including many prominent Muslim nations have thrown their weight behind China, defending its human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims.
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers. Now safety and security has returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people there have enjoyed stronger senses of fulfillment, happiness and security,” they said.
The ambassadors also urged other nations to “refrain from employing unfounded charges against China based on unconfirmed information before they visit Xinjiang.” The list of 50 countries included countries like Venezuela, Cuba and also Muslim countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, all which are themselves recognized as violators of human rights on many fronts.
Earlier, in a first major collective international challenge against Human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang province more than 20 countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada, Japan New Zealand and the United Kingdom, issued a joint statement condemning China’s mass detention of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities. In a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the group of nations has urged China to end all the ‘arbitrary detentions’ and also called for access of UN authorities in the affected regions. The group expressed concerns about “credible reports of arbitrary detention … as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.”
Thereafter, a letter on July 12 and now this letter by ambassadors of 50 countries including Muslim nations defending China’s human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims, reek of a lingering conspiracy to diffuse and counter the human rights concerns in Xinjiang province of China. According to the US state department around 2 million individuals have been detained in these camps which China calls “vocational training centers” designed to fight terrorism and combat Islamic extremism. US state department also claims that millions from Muslim ethnic groups, mainly Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz people and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities have been held against their will in the ‘re-education’ camps which the Communist Party of China says are meant to deradicalise and integrate the Muslim people in a more Han-Chinese version of nation-state.
Several Muslim majority nations coming in support of China in this regard and more so several nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and UAE praising the Communist nation raise serious questions over their calls for solidarity with the Muslim community around the world. These events just expose the sheer hypocrisy of nations like Pakistan who on one side cry against nations like India for their counter terror operations against internationally recognized terrorist organizations while at the same time turn a blind eye towards the detention of ethnic Muslim groups and the desecration and their religious freedoms.
While China faces mounting international pressure over its record of human rights violations, continuing with the trend Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other nations have clearly placed their geo-political agendas before human rights, their claims of being the custodians of Islamic rights also stand exposed as diplomatic pressure and greed of economic incentives have made them bury their heads in the sand against China’s blatant violation of human dignity of millions of Uyghur Muslims. Nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also stand exposed as they had pressurized European nations to take in refugees while they evaded any responsibility towards the refugees. These Islamist nations play politics of convenience and use the Muslim victim card only when it serves their geo-political and economic agenda. Clearly, a powerful country like China has been given the pass to be as authoritarian with Muslims as it likes by Islamist nations, revealing a blatant case of pretence of solidarity with Muslims on the part of countries like Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others.