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441-00167 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:


Although Canadians Micheal Spavor and Micheal Korvig have recently been released after 1000 days of unjust detention in China, there are at least 115 Canadians still being detained in China including Huseyin Celil who has been detained for over 5000 days;

Huseyin Celil is a Canadian Uyghur human rights activist who is detained in China for supporting the political and religious rights of Uyghurs;

Huseyin Celil is a Canadian citizen, who escaped China into Uzbekistan after being unjustly jailed for 48 days in 2001 and on recognition from the United Nations as a refugee, migrated to Canada and obtained Canadian citizenship and gave up his Chinese citizenship;

The Chinese government has refused to accept Huseyin Celil's Canadian citizenship, and denied access to lawyers, family and Canadian officials, while he was coerced into signing a confession and underwent an unlawful and unfair trial;

Evidence now makes clear that the Chinese Government's treatment of the Uyghurs meets most, if not all, of the criteria for genocide as outlined in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; and

Canada cannot remain silent in the face of the unjust suffering of a Canadian citizen.

Therefore we, the undersigned citizens of Canada, call on the Government of Canada to take the following actions to address the situation:

1. Demand that the Chinese government recognize Huseyin Celil's Canadian citizenship and provide him with consular and legal services in accordance with international law;

2. Formally state that the release of Huseyin Celil from Chinese detainment and his return to Canada is a priority of the Canadian government of equal concern as the unjust detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor;

3. Appoint a special envoy to work on securing Mr. Celil's release; and

4. Seek assistance of the Biden Administration and other allies around the world in obtaining Mr. Celil's release.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Global Affairs Canada is committed to providing consular services to Canadians around the world. As each consular case is unique and a tailored approach is often required, officials adapt their interventions to varying local context and circumstance.

The case of Mr. Huseyincan Celil is a priority for Canada, as the Government of Canada continues to be deeply concerned with his detention. Canada has repeatedly raised Mr. Celil’s case with Chinese counterparts at the highest levels, and has made numerous representations to Chinese officials on Mr. Celil’s behalf. While privacy considerations prevent the sharing of details, the Government of Canada remains actively engaged in his case. The Government of Canada will continue to use all diplomatic tools available, including working through the Embassy of Canada in Beijing, to leverage emerging opportunities to further advance Mr. Celil’s case.

As part of the Government’s engagement on the case, Canadian officials have been in regular contact with Mr. Celil’s family in Canada, as well as their representatives, to provide support.

The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy, and will continue to play a fundamental role in the Government of Canada’s engagement with China. When appropriate, and more broadly as a matter of foreign policy, Canada may take steps to reiterate to foreign authorities the importance of abiding by their international human rights obligations and providing basic minimum standards of protection. Canada will always advocate for Canadian citizens abroad.

Presented to the House of Commons
Rick Perkins (South Shore—St. Margarets)
February 9, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00167)
Government response tabled
March 25, 2022
Photo - Rick Perkins
South Shore—St. Margarets
Conservative Caucus
Nova Scotia

55 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.