FSWC and RWCHR Statement on Parliament’s Determination that China is Committing Genocide Against the Uyghurs

February 24, 2021


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Toronto and Montreal (February 24, 2021) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) commend the Canadian House of Commons for taking a strong moral stand on Monday in recognizing China’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs. We also support Parliament’s call for the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Olympics from Beijing if the brutality against the Uyghurs continues. FSWC and RWCHR urge the Government of Canada to follow up with a clear plan of action to address the atrocities being committed against the Uyghurs and ensure that China is held to account.

According to a statement released on October 21 2020 by the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights, nearly 2 million Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups are being detained in what witnesses have referred to as concentration camps and the largest mass detention of a minority community since the Holocaust.

The statement lists a series of atrocities that have taken place, based on witness testimonies, including efforts to eradicate cultural and religious identity; widespread sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence; concentration and forced labour camps as well as forced and coerced sterilization and abortion to reduce the Uyghur population.

“It is highly commendable that Canadian parliamentarians from across party lines have joined together to pass this important motion declaring that the atrocities being committed by China against the Uyghurs amount to nothing less than genocide,” said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt. “We urge the Canadian government to advance the important work being done by Parliament by taking the necessary steps to hold the Chinese Communist Party to account.”

“The Canadian Parliament has made the important determination that the mass atrocities targeting the Uyghurs constitute acts of genocide under the Genocide Convention,” said RWCHR Chair Irwin Cotler. “This provides an important opportunity for the Canadian Government to work in common cause with our allies to pursue justice for victims and accountability for violators, including the establishment of an independent international investigation into the genocide; the implementation of targeted Magnitsky human rights sanctions against the architects of the genocide; and an increase in humanitarian aid and asylum for Uyghurs.”