Canada’s parliament has passed a non-binding motion on Monday (Feb 22) declaring that China’s treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority constitutes genocide, mounting further pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to follow suit.
Canada’s parliament voted 266-0 to declare a genocide, with Trudeau’s cabinet abstaining from the vote. The motion was sponsored by opposition Conservative Party.
“More than one million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims are or have been in camps. The testimonies we’ve heard from witnesses and survivors [have] been horrifying,” Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole told reporters after the vote.
PM Trudeau has repeatedly resisted calls to term Chinese action as genocide claiming he wanted to be sure “all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.”
China has incarcerated at least one million Uyghur Muslim citizens in what it describes as “reeducation camps” in the Xinjiang region. Mass rapes and forced sterilization of Uyghur women have emerged over the past year.
The administration of former US President Donald Trump, on its last full day in office, said China had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
In the last days of Trump administration, then then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “I have determined that the PRC [People’s Republic of China], under the direction and control of the CCP [Chinese Communist party], has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state,” he added.
Pompeo’s declaration also accused China of crimes against humanity.
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