UK Parliament declares China’s treatment of Uyghurs a genocide

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The U.K. Parliament unanimously voted to declare China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region a genocide, marking the latest country to impose the designation on China’s human rights violations in the area.

The move follows similar designations from the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, all of which have said the crackdown on the minority Muslim group amounts to a genocide.

“Today Parliament has spoken with one voice and called out the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal oppression of Uyghurs for what it is: a genocide. The work does not stop here. We have a solemn obligation under the Genocide Convention to act to prevent further atrocities from taking place. History will not judge us kindly if we fail to do so,” Nus Ghani, a member of Parliament, said in a statement released by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

“Today’s vote must mark a turning point. No one can still deny the scale of the abuses taking place in the Xinjiang region,” added Yasmin Qureshi, also a member of Parliament. “That this government is pursuing deeper trade ties with China while these abuses continue is unthinkable.” 

China has garnered international rebukes over its treatment of the Uyghurs, with some critics likening the conditions in Xinjiang to the holocaust. 

Beijing has denied that it is committing any crimes against the Uyghurs, maintaining what critics have said are reeducation and forced labor camps are only workforce training programs to help integrate the Muslim population.

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January declared that China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs.

“While the [Chinese Communist Party] has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Pompeo said.

“Their morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic Uyghurs as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship,” he added.

Tags Human rights abuses in China Human rights of ethnic minorities in China Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Racism in China Uyghurs Xinjiang

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