SDIR Committee News Release
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Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Sous-comité des droits internationaux de la personne du Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international
For immediate release
Tabling of the Subcommittee's report on human rights situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China
Ottawa, March 12, 2021 -
Today, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development presented a report in the House of Commons entitled The Human Rights Situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. The report is based on meetings of the committee’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights held in July 2020 to hear latest developments with respect to the plight of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (Xinjiang).
During these meetings, testimony was gathered from Uyghurs who fled the region, former detainees, the families of detained individuals, non-governmental organizations, academics and human rights experts. Witnesses reported that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is employing extraordinary measures to persecute and repress Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. These include:
• forced birth control and sterilization;
• separation of families, including the separation of children from their parents;
• unlawful detention in concentration camps and other severe deprivations of physical liberty;
• forced labour;
• enforced disappearances;
• pervasive state surveillance; and
• prohibition of religious practices, destruction of religious symbols and sites, such as mosques.
The report concludes that these atrocities amount to crimes against humanity and genocide, as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Witnesses expressed concerns that the situation in Xinjiang is ongoing and requires urgent attention. As such, the report, as adopted by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, makes 15 recommendations for the Government of Canada.
The Subcommittee wishes to thank all the witnesses for their valuable testimony. It is especially grateful to the courageous witnesses who appeared before the Subcommittee at tremendous risk to themselves and their families.
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