Canadian Parliment Votes To Recognize Uyghur Genocide While US Steps Back

The Canadian Parliament voted in favor of recognizing the Uyghur Genocide without the blessing of the Canadian government. The Prime Minister and his cabinet were not present for the opposition motion, however the majority of the ruling Liberal party members of parliament were allowed to vote with the opposition in a free vote.

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) applauds the vote by the Canadian House of Commons to recognize that the Chinese government is carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs, and calls on the UN and other governments to take action without delay.

“China’s atrocity crimes demand a worldwide response. Uyghurs thank Canada for this historic vote,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “We are now in the 5th year of unimaginable hell.”

With overwhelming support, the House of Commons passed the motion which recognizes that “a genocide is currently being carried out by the People’s Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims . . .” Moreover, the House called on the International Olympic Committee to “move the 2022 Olympic Games if the Chinese government continues this genocide and call on the government to officially adopt this position.”

The Canadian government must develop a plan of action to follow-up on the vote, encourage allies to make similar designations, and work through the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent mechanism to evaluate the Uyghur situation.

The vote is consistent with the position of 50 genocide and atrocity prevention organizations and senior experts, who reissused a joint open letter with the UHRP last week. They found that the measures targeting Uyghurs “meet the threshold of acts constitutive of genocide, core international crimes under the Genocide Convention . . .” The letter also urges the international community to respond through diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means.

Just a few days urlier, US President Bident took a step back from the former Secreatry of States Pompeo designation of the Uyghur Genocide by the previous Trump administration. “The central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united tightly-controlled China,” said Biden after speaking to the Chinese head of state.

The Canadian government’s reluctance to support the resolution passed by its own parliament and the Biden stepping back from the previous designation of the Uyghur Geneocide shows that political relations with China are more important than the Uyghur Genocide designation or human rights in China.  

This designation of genocide is crucial in ending the Chinese government’s horrific, longstanding atrocities against Uyghurs which includes running the largest concentration camps since the Nazis.

The Uyghurs are a Muslim minority that lives in what China calls the the Xingjian province, but Uyghurs call East Turkestan. They speak and Turkic language and are distinct from the majority Han Chinese population.

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