Lawmakers in Australia rejected a motion on Monday to recognize human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as genocide, disappointing hopes by Uyghurs and other XUAR natives that the country would follow similar designations by the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands.
Earlier in Canberra, the governing Liberal Party-led Coalition and main opposition Labor Party united to block a formal vote in the Senate on a motion by independent Senator Rex Patrick that the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang constitutes the crime of genocide.”
The decision followed a similar move by Turkish lawmakers last week in Ankara, where an opposition-sponsored motion calling for an investigation of Chinese treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority in XUAR was rejected by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) abstained from voting in parliament.
Authorities in the XUAR are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since early 2017. Reports suggest the camps are used as punishment for signs of “extremism” that authorities say include practicing basic forms of Islam, adhering to cultural traditions, and violating strict family-planning policies.