Senate passes motion demanding demands impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in genocide in Uyghur

A perimeter fence is constructed around what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

The Senate of Canada voted in favor of it of a motion Thursday demanding that the Government of Canada impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China.

The motion, tabled by Conservative Senator Leo Housakos, calls on the federal government to impose Magnitsky sanctions on members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who took part in the “human rights violations and systematic persecution of Uighur Muslims in China. “

“We can not continue to claim that we are defenders of human rights and religious freedom, while at the same time turning a blind eye to what is happening to Uighur Muslims in China. The time for words is over. It is now time for action, “said Housakos. wrote on Twitter Thursday. “Impose Magnitsky sanctions on CCP.”

During a debate in the Room On Thursday, before accepting the motion, Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne said she could not remain silent about the human rights violation the Uighur Muslims are experiencing at the hands of the Chinese communist regime.

“The Uyghurs being forced to work in factories inside and outside the Xinjiang Autonomous Region were the most visible face of this problem during the pandemic,” Miville-Dechêne said.

Along with this forced labor, the Uyghurs also endure torture, sexual violence against women in re-education camps, sterilization and assimilation techniques, as my colleagues described. It’s disgusting. ”

‘A independent report, published in March by the think tank Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, concluded that the CCP was responsible for the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims.

The report notes that the genocide took place systematically, starting by collecting Uyghurs’ biometric data, assigning party cadres to monitor it, and then destroying their cultural and religious grounds, language and poetry – all central to their identity. and life.

The CCP then criminalized their religious practices, built and expanded the internment camps and detention facilities where about 1 to 2 million Uyghurs were detained.

In February, the majority of MPs officially recognized the CCP’s campaign against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities as a genocide after a 266-0 vote, in which the Conservative motion gained support from the Block Quebecois, the NOP, the Green Party and the non-cabinet. Liberal MP.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet did not show up, except for Foreign Minister Marc Garneau, who voted on behalf of the cabinet not to vote on the motion.

At the end of the Senate, a similar motion on the recognition of the Uyghur genocide was filed on March 15 and discussed on Thursday. However, the motion was voted to postpone to a future date for further debate, which Housakos called “Disappointing.”

Miville-Dechêne remains positive that the Senate can still make a difference in highlighting the atrocities committed by the Chinese regime.

“The Senate may not have the power to force the Government of Canada to impose sanctions on China, but we can join the House of Representatives to speak out loud and clear against the persistent human rights violations in China,” she said.