266 of the 338 members of the Canadian lower house voted in favor of the motion filed by the opposition. Several coalition members also voted in favor. The other members, including Trudeau and government ministers, abstained.
The motion acknowledges that “past and present Uyghurs in China have been victims of genocide.” According to MEPs, Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region have experienced, among other things, “political and anti-religious indoctrination,” “forced labor,” and “the destruction of cultural sites.” According to investigative reporters, Muslim women are systematically raped and tortured.
An amendment to the motion calling for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing to be moved to another country if China continues the genocide was also passed.
Experts say more than a million Uyghurs are currently being held against their will in political re-education camps. Beijing denies this, claiming that these are vocational training centers to move Uyghurs away from terrorism and separatism.
US preceded Canada
Globally, Canada is the second country to recognize China’s treatment of the Muslim minority as genocide. Only the United States has done this before. Trudeau acknowledges reports of human rights violations from China and has said that he is consulting with international allies about the use of the term “genocide.”
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