URAP Statement on joint statement delivered at UN by Canada

URAP Statement on the joint statement delivered Canadian Permanent Mission in Geneva on Uyghur Genocide

22 June, 2021

The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) welcomes the Canadian leadership in delivering the joint statement on the grave human rights crises of Uyghurs  in East Turkistan (aka Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) at 47th Session of Human Rights Council today, June 22 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In her speech delivered on behalf of 44 states, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN Madame Lesli E. Norton issued stark warning saying that: “We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrary detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uyghurs and members of other minorities and restrictions on fundamental freedoms and Uyghur culture”.

 She has also reiterated the urgent need “to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the High Commissioner.”

 Hours later in Ottawa, PM.Trudeau endorsed the statement and responded to China’s comparison of its ongoing Uyghur genocide with the Canadian dark history with its indigenous people last century.

Prime Minister,  in his press conference today, said, “In Canada, we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Where is China’s truth and reconciliation commission? Where is their truth? Where is the openness that Canada has always shown and the responsibility that Canada has taken for the terrible mistakes of the past, and indeed, many of which continue into the present?”

Prime Minister continued, “ it’s important for Canadians and the world to pay attention to the systemic abuse and human rights violations against the Uyghurs.”

The statement delivered by Canadian mission is another important step in holding China accountable for its crimes, which were designated by Canadian Parliament as Uyghur Genocide. The URAP’s Executive Director, Mehmet Tohti, called “for a Canadian government to officially recognize the Parliamentary Motion on Uyghur Genocide made on February 22, 2021 and follow up with the fifteen-point recommendations put forward by our legislative branch (Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development) of power”.

 The URAP expresses its gratitude towards the Global Affairs of Canada for its leadership role and also calls upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  to follow up with the commitments announced at G7 Summit in UK, notably “we will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang”

URAP will continue to call upon the government of Canada to formally recognize Uyghur Genocide and honor the will of the Parliament. We will call upon the government of Canada to urgently implement the recommendations put forward by the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs in March, 2021.

Mehmet Tohti

Executive Director

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project

613 261 8512