Canada's House of Commons labels China's crackdown on Uyghurs as genocide

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Uyghur activists say that new revelations of gender-based and sexual violence faced by Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic women inside internment camps have further evidenced the atrocity crimes that are unfolding in the Xinjiang province

Several Uyghur rights organisations have welcomed the newly adopted Opposition Motion bill in the House of Commons of Canada, acknowledging China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other Turkic people, as genocide. They have also in unified voice criticised Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to not participate in the vote.

"It is disappointing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet called for an abstention on the motion. The evidence of genocide overwhelming. The international community can no longer simply condemn this genocide. It is high time to take action. The Canadian government must lead the way with like-minded countries in a coordinated effort," said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) in a statement.

The WUC also welcomed the vote of MPs in favour of the amendment made calling for the relocation of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

"The recent new revelations of gender-based and sexual violence faced by Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic women inside internment camps have further evidenced the atrocity crimes that are unfolding in East Turkistan, carried out by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Other violations, including the extrajudicial internment of 1.8 – 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakh and others, religious and cultural persecution, mass surveillance, forced labour and forced sterilisation on Uyghur women were also addressed during multiple hearings," the statement said.

This comes at a time where the question of crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide in East Turkistan has been raised within various other governments in the international community. On his last day in office, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declared that the US had formally designated China’s crimes against Uyghurs as ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’, making it the first country to do so.

In the United Kingdom, an amendment to the Government’s Trade Bill by a cross-party group of peers will be re-introduced this week in the House of Lords, which if passed would allow the UK courts to make a judgement whether it deems China’s actions to constitute genocide.

In early February, leading lawyers at the Essex Court Chambers (London), led by Alison McDonald QC, published the first legal opinion concluding that the available evidence credibly establishes that crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide have been committed.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had accused Beijing of 'industrial scale' human rights abuses against its Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, adding that situation in Tibet too remains "deeply concerning".  

"No one can ignore the evidence anymore... We see almost daily reports now that shine a new light on China’s systematic human rights violations perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang. The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale. The reported abuses – which include torture, forced labour and forced sterilisation of women – are extreme and they are extensive. They are taking place on an industrial scale. It must be our collective duty to ensure this does not go unanswered," Raab said in his address during the 46th session of the UNHRC.