URAP applauds Human Rights Subcommittee of Canadian Parliament Declaring Uyghur Atrocities Committed by the government of China as Genocide
Oct 21, 2020
The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) applauds the statement issued today by the Subcommittee on the International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SDIR), which declares that the atrocities committed by the government of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims is genocide.
Approved with the unanimous bipartisan support by the members of 4 political parties, the statement sends the strongest signal to the government of China and sets a precedent for other countries to follow.
As a signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention, Canada has a duty to prevent and stop the ongoing Uyghur genocide perpetrated by the government of China. “The time is now for the Government of Canada to act and implement all key suggestions tabled by the Subcommittee,” said Mehmet Tohti, Executive Director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project.
During recent Parliamentary hearings held on July 20th and 21st, prominent Canadian legal experts were joined by survivors of concentration camps to testify on the horrific details of the crimes of genocide perpetrated by China’s authorities against Uyghurs. These experts and witnesses urged the Government of Canada to take action on stopping these ongoing atrocities.
A number of recently leaked internal Chinese government documents – which include Operating Manuals for the Mass Internment and Surveillance systems, a comprehensive logbook and more than 400 pages of other internal papers, including speeches from top officials -, provide an inside look at the implementation of genocidal policies against Uyghurs in East Turkistan, which since 1955 has been referred to by the government of China as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region .
A classified Chinese government document suggests that there may be up to 1,400 extrajudicial internment facilities in total, excluding prisons, with capacities ranging up to more than 30,000 detainees. In its latest White Paper, the Government of China acknowledged that, between 2014-2019, an average of 1.29 million people in the region per year have gone through “Vocational Training,” a term used to describe its concentration camps.
Various reports document that Uyghurs are subjected to severe physical and mental torture in the camps, as well as forced labour on a wide scale. China’s government destroyed mosques, shrines, and graveyards, banned the Uyghur language, separated families from their children, and created a digital Gulag to eradicate Uyghur identity.
The bipartisan statement of the Subcommittee condemns the Chinese mass detention of Uyghurs and other Turkic people in concentration camps. The document demands that the Chinese government close its camps and release all detainees.
The suggested policy action by the Subcommittee to the Canadian government is to enact proper legislation and establish adequate mechanisms to take action against Uyghur forced labor, forced labor supply chains and to prevent forced labor products coming into the Canadian consumer market as well as to hold accountable for harms caused by the operation of corporate businesses. Suggested policy actions also requires the federal government to take necessary steps to ensure that Canadian technology companies are not involved in the intrusive and pervasive high-tech surveillance in East Turkistan.
The URAP is pleased to notice the suggestion of appointing a Special Envoy dedicated to demanding the release of Uyghur-Canadian prisoner Huseyincan Celil, who was abducted in 2006 and sentenced to life in a Chinese prison.
Canadian citizens of Uyghur origin have long pleaded for the exceptional refugee streams to expedite Uyghur refugee applications in Canada, as well as for the implementation of protective measures for Uyghur activists in Canadian soil. The URAP applauds that SDIR has addressed both issues in its actionable policy items.
The Subcommittee statement clearly addressed a grave concern of Uyghur refugees and Uyghur advocates on Canadian soil from the persistent, systematic and overreaching harassments, intimidation and threats through the hostage taking of family members by China and asked federal government to take proactive measures for the protection of Uyghurs and Uyghur advocates.
URAP advocates that Uyghur refugees must be granted conventional refugee status in Canada without further compelling them to repeat, and be re-traumatized by, the horrible memories of prosecution in China.
Given the heartbreaking reality of broken families, Stateless Uyghur Orphanages, single mothers with multiple children without parental support due to these Chinese brutalities, the URAP urges the Government of Canada to address this humanitarian crises by creating an emergency relief program for those Uyghur refugees trapped in unsafe countries where they face deportation to China in exchange for financial gain.
The URAP reminds the multi-faith joint letter sent to R.H. Prime Minister endorsed by more than 120 organizations across Canada dated on October 15th, 2020 demanded actions to be taken by the government of Canada in line with the SDIR’s policy proposal.
The URAP continues to advocate for the full implementation of the policy suggestions by the Subcommittee by closely working with all relevant departments of the Canadian government.
Furthermore, the URAP urges bipartisan parliamentary resolution to officially acknowledge the crimes committed against Uyghur is genocide and to mandate the government of Canada to work with the UN and other relevant international bodies to adopt the acts committed against Uyghurs by the government of China is genocide and to advocate for global sanction to all Chinese officials who are responsible for these heinous crimes perpetuated against Uyghurs in East Turkistan.
Lastly, on behalf of Uyghur Canadians and concerned friends and allies, the URAP extends its deep appreciation and gratitude for the hardworking members of the Subcommittee on the International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for their excellent work and dedication.
For more information please contact:
Executive Director of The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
329-116 Albert Street, Ottawa
Tel: 613-261 8512 or 416 824 9477; F: 437 800 4099