NEW DELHI: India on Friday said rights of people in China's Xinjiang region should be "respected and guaranteed" but noted that its decision to abstain from a resolution on the concerns at the UN human rights commission was in line with the practice of not voting on country-specific resolutions.
It is for the first time that India clearly called for respecting the human rights of the people of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
"The human rights of the people of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region should be respected and guaranteed. We hope that the relevant party will address the situation objectively and properly," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
His comments came at a media briefing when asked about India's abstention at the UN rights body on the resolution calling for a debate on the human rights situation in Xinjiang.
"India remains committed to upholding all human rights. India's vote is in line with its long held position that country specific resolutions are never helpful. India favours a dialogue to deal with such issues," he said.
Bagchi said India has taken note of assessment of human rights concerns in Xinjiang by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) "We have taken note of the OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China," he said.
The draft resolution was pushed by a group comprising Canada, Denmark, Finland, the UK, the US, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and was co-sponsored by some other countries.
In its recent report, the OCHCR said serious human rights violations have been committed in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the context of the Chinese government's application of counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies.
"The implementation of these strategies, and associated policies in XUAR has led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue 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.