Canadian MPs have been demanding that Justin Trudeau led Canadian government takes a formal stand against the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China. On Wednesday, International Day in Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, they stepped up their efforts and urged that independent investigation needs to be carried out.
Canadian MP Garnett Genuis said that Canada must recognise and respond to this genocide. “Independent investigations have already been conducted. There are survivor testimony, satellite imagery and leaked Chinese government data. The evidence is clear. The investigations have been done. The victims have testified. The government should believe them. Why is the Prime Minister still sitting on the fence and refusing to answer question and recognise this genocide,” he said while addressing the House of Commons via video link.
Responding to this, Prime Minister Trudeau said that his government takes the allegations of genocide extremely seriously. He claimed that the Canadian government is “following the right processes to establish our point of view and our official position on this subject.”
In October 2020, the Canadian House of Commons subcommittee on international human rights concluded that genocide existed.“In light of the testimonies it gathered during its hearings in 2018 and 2020, the subcommittee is convinced that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party constitute genocide under the terms of the Genocide Convention,” the report read.
Apparently, this observation ‘provoked’ Beijing. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian and dismissed these observations as ‘baseless’ and ‘full of lies and misinformation’ and claimed it was ignorance and prejudice of Canadians.
Earlier this month, the outgoing Trump administration in the United State of America declared the treatment of the Uyghur Muslims in China as ‘genocide’. Condemning mass repression, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of imprisoning, torturing and carrying out forced sterilisation against Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group.
Earlier, the US Department of State had estimated that up to two million Uyghurs as well as members of other Muslim minority community have been detained across intermittent camps in the region. A report by CNN states that camp detainees face food and sleep deprivation and forced injections. Further, some Uyghur women were forced to use birth control and undergo forced sterilisation as a part of deliberate attempt to bring down population of the minority.
China, however, has denied the atrocities and human rights abuse. It claims that these steps are important to curb religious extremism and terrorism in an area which is home to about 11 million Uyghurs.