Canada risks irking Beijing by resettling 10,000 Uyghurs

Uyghur school Turkey

The Canadian Parliament-led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unanimously passing a motion for allowing the resettlement of the 10,000 Uyghur Muslims, mainly fleeing from repression in the province of Xinjiang, may irk China, reported The Geneva Daily.

Lawmakers in Canada's House of Commons voted in favor of the proposal 322-0 on Wednesday (January 1), with the chamber erupting into applause as the motion was carried.

The motion stated that Uyghurs, "face pressure and intimidation by the Chinese state to return to China, where they face the serious risk of mass arbitrary detention, mass arbitrary separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization, forced labour, torture and other atrocities."

As an additional step to mark the treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region by the China "genocide", the Canadian Parliament passed a unanimous motion that undertakes the resettlement of nearly 10,000 Uyghur refugees in Canada over the next two years, starting in 2024, reported The Geneva Daily.

The bill, M-62, was introduced by Liberal Party member Sameer Zuberi, who called the vote a "historic moment." "This was a good day for Canada, for the Uyghur people, and our human family," he tweeted. \

At a press conference, Zuberi commented that the passing of the motion is "a clear signal that we do not accept human rights violations against the Uyghur people."

The bill further accused Beijing of applying diplomatic and economic pressure on countries such as Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan where Uyghur inhabitation is high, in order to detain and deport Uyghurs, "leaving them without a safe haven in the world," reported The Geneva Daily.

In 2021, Canada became one of the first countries to label China's treatment of the Uyghurs genocide.

At that time, Canada's Ambassador Leslie Norton had not only commented on the situation in Xinjiang by describing it as "Canada's deep concern about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region" but also criticized the Canadian government's stand on human rights issue further asking Ottawa to self-introspect on its historical treatment of indigenous peoples and compensation for victims.

Meanwhile, Mao Ning, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Thursday, accused Ottawa of "politically manipulating Xinjiang-related issues for ulterior motives, spreading disinformation and misleading the public."

Furthermore, Jiang Duan, a senior official at China's mission to the UN in Geneva also added that "Historically, Canada robbed the Indigenous people of their land, killed them, and eradicated their culture".

Since 2017, Beijing has carried out a sweeping crackdown in the north-western Xinjiang region under the banner of counterterrorism, undertaking campaigns to forcibly assimilate the mostly Muslim ethnic minority group.

Experts estimate that Chinese authorities have detained more than 1 million Uyghurs as part of the crackdown, holding them in centers and "re-education" camps and drawing international condemnation.


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