As representatives of communities that have been victims of genocide, we are writing to urge the Government of Canada to condemn the government of China for its horrific human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority and demand that these abuses stop immediately.
With horror, we have been following the stories emerging from China about detention camps, forced sterilization, forced labour, organ harvesting, torture, rape and other serious human rights abuses of the Uyghurs, who are being targeted specifically because they are both a minority ethnicity and Muslim.
China is committing genocide against the Uygur people. We cannot allow this to happen – again. As a country that prides itself on diversity and tolerance, Canada has a vital role to play on the world stage. We must demonstrate leadership and call on the Chinese government to end these horrible abuses. Canada’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine clearly applies in this case, and we urge Canada to act. We propose the following for consideration:
1) Advocate at the UN for unrestricted and unfettered access to investigate the accusations of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghur people in China.
2) Establish an emergency immigration and relief program to help persecuted Uyghurs find asylum in Canada.
3) Ensure Canada separates itself from tainted supply chains and is not supporting or benefiting from the detention camps, notably from cotton and agricultural goods produced in the region. Canada should establish a properly resourced mechanism to identify the origin of tainted products and forbid their entry into Canada or their marketing in Canada, including on social media.
4) In collaboration with our international partners, apply Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials and entities involved in genocide and crimes against humanity targeting the Uyghur people.
5) Assign a Special Envoy to the case of Huseiyn Jelil, a Canadian citizen and Uyghur human rights activist jailed in China since 2006 who has not been provided consular access because China does not recognize his Canadian citizenship.
The Chinese regime’s treatment of the Uyghurs is horrifying. As representative of communities that have been victims of genocide, we refuse to stay silent in the face of this modern genocide unfolding in front of us today. In the strongest possible terms, we urge Canada to act immediately.
Shimon Koffler Fogel
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Ukrainian Canadian Congress