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Canada’s parliament passes motion saying China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide

Canada’s parliament passes motion saying China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide

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Ottawa: Canada has passed a non-binding motion on Monday saying that China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims is a genocide. This has put pressure on Trudeau’s government to follow suit and take similar action. The parliament voted 266-0 for the motion brought by the opposition Conservative Party. Canadian PM Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained from the vote.

A source close to the ruling party stressed that a mere vote will not have any impact on the issue. Rather, Canada will work with international organizations and partners.

On the same issue, European Union (EU) has demanded that China allow independent rights observers access into the Xinjiang province to probe abuses, against Uighur Muslims.

This has been announced by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

His statement was as follows: “I want to reiterate the European Union’s call on China to comply with its obligations on the national and international law to respect and protect human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities in Xinjiang, in Tibet, and in Inner Mongolia.”

Meaning of Genocide

According to international convention, genocide is the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.

Who are the Uighurs?

There are about 12 million Uighurs(less than 50% of Xinjiang Population), mostly Muslim, living in north-western China in the region of Xinjiang, officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). They speak their own language and identify themselves with Central Asian nations.

Xinjiang lies in the north-west of China and is the country’s biggest region. It is in theory an autonomous region like Tibet, but the Uighurs briefly declared independence in the early 20th century, but the region was brought under the complete control of mainland China’s new Communist government in 1949.

In recent decades, there’s been a mass migration of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.

Why have Uighurs targeted: Clashes with Han Chinese and CCP’s Religious Diplomacy

Due to the mass migration of the Han Chinese, separatist sentiment led to an increase in violence in Xinjiang from the 1990s. In 2009 some 200 people died in clashes in Xinjiang, which the Chinese blamed on Uighurs who want their own state. Xinjiang has been under massive security surveillance to crush dissent. Surveillance includes police, checkpoints, and cameras that scan everything from number plates to individual faces.

According to Human Rights Watch, police are also using a mobile app to monitor peoples’ behavior, such as how much electricity they are using and how often they use their front door.

Chinese Communist Party on Religion: As per Chinese Communist Party(CCP) ideology, Beijing has always pursued the idea of ‘national unity’ based on Confucian values. Through its religious Diplomacy, the CCP has gradually increased its pervasive control over every aspect of religion, regular worship, and the appointment and control of religious leaders by setting various conditions on the activities. In 2017 when President Xi Jinping issued an order saying all religions in China should be Chinese in orientation

After President Xi‘s order on religions and Chinese orientation in 2017 there have been further crackdowns. Campaigners say China is trying to eradicate Uighur culture.

Reported Atrocities against Uighurs

Chinese hospitals aborted late-stage pregnancies and killed newborns as part of a campaign to purge the Uighur culture, report says

Reports of Forced Sterilisations of Women called for UN investigation

Shown drone footage that appears to show Uighurs being blindfolded and led to trains, and which has been authenticated by Australian security services, he said he “did not know” what the video was showing and “sometimes you have a transfer of prisoners, in any country”.-UK Secy Dominic Rabb

A research was published by the US-based think-tank the Center for Global Policy and was reviewed by the BBC as well as German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.An estimated 570,000 workers from three Uighur regions were mobilized to cotton-picking operations in 2018, the report found, citing online government documents.

Uighur Concentration Camps

Children as young as 13 are targeted as part of China’s efforts to suppress the Muslim minority group’s religion and culture, with a document calling on children to “repent and surrender”.

Charges against the CCP by the International Community.

The US has accused China of committing genocide against the Uighurs.

On his final day in the office under the Trump administration, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said: “I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.”

A UN human rights committee in 2018 said it had credible reports the Chinese were holding up to a million people in “counter-extremism centers” in Xinjiang.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute found evidence in 2020 of more than 380 of these “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, an increase of 40% on previous estimates.

Leaked documents known as the China Cables made clear that the camps were intended to be run as high-security prisons, with strict discipline and punishments.

People who have managed to escape the camps have reported physical, mental, and sexual torture – women have spoken of mass rape and sexual abuse.

In December 2020 research seen by the BBC showed up to half a million people were being forced to pick cotton. There is evidence new factories have been built within the grounds of the re-education camps.

The Chinese government has long used its embassy and consulates in the U.S. to exert control over student groups, collect information on Uighurs and Chinese dissident groups, and coordinate local and state-level political influence activities. Leaked classified Chinese government documents have revealed that Chinese embassies and consulates are complicit in the ongoing cultural and demographic genocide against Uighurs

Demand for Investigation by the International Criminal Court: Exiled Uighurs call on ICC to investigate Chinese ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang as submitted by lawyers in London

China’s Defence against the Accusations

Reports are completely untrue.

Crackdown as a part of a policy to prevent and remove Islamist Extremism

The camps are an effective tool for re-educating inmates in their fight against terrorism.

It insists that Uighur militants are waging a violent campaign for an independent state by plotting bombings, sabotage, and civic unrest

China has dismissed claims it is trying to reduce the Uighur population through mass sterilizations as “baseless”, and says allegations of forced labor are “completely fabricated”.

(Sanket)

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