UHRP urges Canadian Government to act on parliamentary subcommittee finding of genocide

For immediate release
October 21, 2020 9:25pm EDT
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is encouraged by recent findings of the Canadian Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR), who recommended that the Canadian government recognize that acts being committed against Uyghurs constitute genocide.

“The Canadian parliamentary subcommittee has set the benchmark for action by the international community, but it will not end here,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat, of the findings. “We are confident that anyone studying the issue carefully would come to the same conclusion.”

The SDIR, which held hearings in 2018 and in July 2020, stated: “Based on the evidence put forward during the Subcommittee hearings, both in 2018 and 2020, the Subcommittee is persuaded that the actions of the Chinese Communist Party constitute genocide as laid out in the Genocide Convention.”

UHRP Senior Program Officer Elise Anderson testified before the Subcommittee in July, when she recommended that the Canadian government “Make formal legal determinations as to whether the Uyghur crisis constitutes a genocide.”

Others who testified included Omerbek Ali, Kayum Masimov, Gulbahar Jelilova, Raziya Mahmut, Rayhan Asat, Mehmet Tohti, Jewher Ilham, Sayragul Sauytbay, and Kamila Talendibaevai.

In September, UHRP along with 22 genocide and atrocity prevention organizations from 5 countries, and 16 senior experts, sent an open letter to governments expressing grave concern that crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against Uyghurs in East Turkistan.

The SDIR recommended that the Canadian government:

  • Recognize that the acts being committed against Uyghurs constitute genocide
  • Work within legal frameworks of international bodies to recognize that the acts being committed constitute genocide
  • Impose sanctions on all Chinese government officials responsible for grave human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.

The Canadian government must now show global leadership and act on the findings of the Parliamentary Subcommittee.