Does Canada have something to say on Uyghur Genocide by China?

If there is one admission that we can wind up from the latest report by Dr. Adrian Zenz, it is the reaffirmation of the long-standing claim consistently made by the Uyghur diaspora on the Chinese genocide of their fellow Uyghurs in East Turkistan(China calls Xinjiang). Dr. Zenz’s evidence-based conclusion of Genocide originated from China’s own sources, on the perspective of the dramatic drop of birthrate and wholesale sterilization of Uyghur fe(males).

 However, there is more to be discussed while the total death toll  of Uyghur detainees in concentration camps, prisons and victims of commercialized organ harvesting is still remain a mystery after China destroyed all the records.

 RFA and Bitterwinter have reported about tens of thousands of mass transfer of Uyghur detainees secretly to Mainland Chinese prisons as early as Oct 2018 and the fate of those Uyghur detainees is in absolute darkness. Furthermore China never came clean in explaining why they built crematories next to more than thousand  concentration camps for Uyghurs in the region since 2016. Traditionally cremation is against the cultural and religious practice of Uyghurs. Do we know the whereabouts of nearly a million (estimate) Uyghur kids uprooted from their families and put into dispersed State “orphanages” with barbed wires to achieve enforced Sinicization, while their either parents suffocated in concentration camps, prisons all over China? In addition, physical and mental torture, rape, enforced disappearances, enforced slavery in global supply chains and other forms of brutality have been widely reported and recorded with witness testimonies after the “Absolutely No Mercy” campaign order of Xi Jinping commenced to eradicate Uyghur existence.

 Being totally incommunicado with their loved ones backhome and historic flashback of vivid memories from the past, the exiled Uyghur community worldwide has been alarming the world with unspeakable shock and horror for 3 years. As Dr. Zenz said, “his findings are the testament of China’s fulfilment of section (d) of UN Genocide Convention Article II”, “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” through “Sterilizations, Forced Abortions, and Mandatory Birth Control.

During my Parliamentary testimony on Oct 2, 2018, I stated thatthe textbook example of ethnic cleansing, collective punishment and the dehumanization of  Uighur people became routine and raised fear and alarm about what was going to be next. Alarm I referred was the genocide against Uyghur people from China and it is proven to be the case now.

December 11, 2018, I briefly chatted with Christia Freeland, Minister of Global Affair back then, about this dire situation of my fellow Uyghurs. She briefly said, “We are aware of the situation”.

On March 9, 2020, I raised the similar alarm with the Minister François-Philippe Champagne, during a working luncheon to discuss Canada’s Bilateral relationship with China, He listened.  

The Subcommittee on International Human Rights has released the Final report after Numerous Parliamentary Hearings on December 19, 2018 with detailed accounts. Media coverage never stopped reporting the tragedies of Uyghurs since the exposure of Concentration camps under the China’s guise of “Vocational Training Centers”.

We even failed to acknowledge the existence of concentration camps before and now are failing to condemn China’s crime of genocide against Uyghurs.

Meanwhile US Congress has passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act with strong actionable mandates and President Trumps signed it to law.

The US commission of International Religious Freedom has issued fresh statement calling Chinese mass sterilization of Uyghurs as the “Evidence of Genocide”

Uyghurs never stopped sharing the horrible stories of their family members with stark and chilling warnings. As Anne Applebaum, the Pulltzer Prize winning historians and survivors of Soviet Gulag wrote in Washington Post : “ in China, Never Again is Happening Again”

As Fred Hilatt,  editorial page editor of the Washington Post stated: “ In China, every day is Kristallnacht”

Dr. Ellen J. Kennedy, the executive Director of World Without Genocide at Michelli Hamline School of Law wrote recently: “High Tech Genocide: From Jews to the Uyghurs”

Continued silence on China’s Uyghur Genocide is the tacit approval of Genocide itself.

As a passionate Canadian, I am wondering, what is holding us back from speaking up against this 21st century genocide?

Why Canada can be satisfied with status quo while the US has already applied strong sanctions to more than 40 government entities, high-tech companies and even to Chinese officials that have direct links to the Uyghur genocide?

I am also wondering if “Never Again “holds any weight for Canada as a signatory country of UN Genocide Prevention Convention.

 It is time to speak up and take action. We are here to help with proposals.

Mehmet Tohti

Executive Director

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project and lives in Mississauga Ontario