Canada, other nations considering genocide label on China’s Uighur atrocities

Mass detention of Uighur Muslims in China. (Photo courtesy: The Guardian)

(, Feb17’21) – Canada and other nations are considering labelling China’s treatment of its Uighur minority a genocide, reported the AFP, citing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Feb 16.

Calling “genocide” a word that is “extremely loaded”, he has said at a news conference that “we should be looking at in the case of the Uighurs”.

“I know the international community is looking very carefully at that and we are certainly among them, and we will not hesitate from being part of the determinations around these sorts of things.”

Expressing extreme concern at the situation in Xinjiang, he has, however, cautioned, “when it comes to the application of the very specific word ‘genocide,’ we simply need to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed in the processes before a determination like that is made.”

Donald Trump’s outgoing administration in the US last month said Beijing’s atrocities in the Xinjiang region amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in January: “We are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.”

His successor, Antony Blinken, has said he agreed with the label, and vowed to stay tough on China.

Rights groups say at least one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims have been incarcerated in camps in Xinjiang. They have added that atrocities amounting to genocide were being committed both in and outside those camps, supported by harrowing accounts from witnesses and victims.


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