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International relations

U.N. rights council rejects debate on China's treatment of Uyghurs

Motion to discuss Xinjiang suffers rare defeat as Indonesia and Pakistan oppose it

A guard stands in a watchtower of Kashgar prison in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China on May 3, 2021.   © Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) -- The U.N. rights council on Thursday rejected a Western-led motion to hold a debate about alleged human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region after a U.N. report found possible crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslims.

The defeat (19 against, 17 for, 11 abstentions) is only the second time in the council's 16-year history that a motion has been rejected and is seen by observers as a setback to both accountability efforts and the West's moral authority.

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