China to be held to account for its actions in Xinjiang, says Canadian govt


The Canadian government wants China to be held to account for its actions in the province of Xinjiang after a damning report from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The release of this much-anticipated report was critical. The findings reflect the credible accounts of grave human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang. This report makes an important contribution to the mounting evidence of serious, systemic human rights abuses and violations occurring in Xinjiang,” Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly said, in a statement released on Thursday.

That report found that “serious human rights violations have been committed” in Xinjiang “in the context of the Government’s application of counter-terrorism and counter-‘extremism’ strategies”.

“It finds that the arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” Joly noted.

“Mounting evidence points to systemic, state-led human rights violations by Chinese authorities, including the mass arbitrary detention of more than 1 million Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic minorities on the basis of their religion and ethnicity, as well as widespread mass surveillance, political re-education, sexual and gender-based violence, forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation,” she asserted.

Canada urged China “to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respond to the concerns and the recommendations raised in the high commissioner’s report.”

Joly said Ottawa will continue to work with its international partners on “coordinated action to address the situation in Xinjiang and to ensure the Chinese government is held to account for its actions”.

She added, “Canada has repeatedly expressed its grave concern with the ongoing gross and systemic human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang affecting Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.”

China has already denied the findings in the UN report.

In February last year, Canada’s House of Commons had passed a motion that Chinese actions in Xinjiang met the threshold to be termed as “genocide”.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)