Canada’s parliament unanimously passed a motion to accept 10,000 Uyghur refugees who fled China, but now faces pressure to return.
Wednesday’s vote builds on a February 2021 move by Canadian lawmakers to label Beijing’s treatment of the Chinese government. Uyghur and massacred Turkic Muslims in northwestern Xinjiang as genocide.
Human rights groups believe that at least one million Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities are held in concentration camps in the region. China He has also been accused of coercing women to be sterilized and imposing forced labor.
Tens of thousands have fled the region, and at least 1,600 have been detained or deported to other countries at China’s request, according to Canadian MP Samir Zuberi, who sponsored the motion.
Mr Zuberi said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet voted in favor of the motion, which, while not binding, demonstrated the government’s “intention to make it happen”.
“It’s a clear signal that we will not tolerate human rights abuses against Uyghurs,” Zuberi said at a news conference. “What is happening to the Uighurs is unacceptable.”
Mehmet Toti, executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, said it was a message that “resonates not only in China and Canada, but around the world.”
The motion states that “Uyghurs who have fled to a third country are being pressured and threatened by the Chinese government to return to China.” They have been detained and deported, accusing them of “leaving them without a safe haven.” world. “
It proposes resettling 10,000 Uyghurs to Canada over two years from 2024.
China has defended Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang, saying they are essential to fighting terrorism and providing vocational training to ethnic minorities.
But the United States has said China’s crackdown on Uyghurs amounted to “genocide,” and the United Nations has condemned China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.
“Uyghurs are under attack: our language, culture, religion, history and ethnic identity,” said Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress.