Canada says it is ready, through a motion, to welcome 10,000 Uighurs

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Canada says it is ready, through a motion, to welcome 10 000 Ouïgours

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">A Uyghur man walks to a mosque in China.

Federal lawmakers passed a motion on Wednesday aimed at fostering a welcome of 10,000 Uighur refugees who have fled China and who continue to be “bullied” by Beijing. this motion passed unanimously.

The text aims to accelerate the entry into the country of 10,000 Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection for a period of two years from 2024.

The motions of this type are not binding on the government, but the program has been approved by the government of Justin Trudeau. Long applause followed the adoption of the text on Wednesday.

What has just happened is historic and a clear signal that we do not accept human rights abuses against Uighurs, said Sameer Zuberi, the MP behind the motion, during a press briefing.

The text acknowledges that these Uighurs fled to third countries to escape the pressure and intimidation exerted by the x27;Chinese state to push them back to China.

The document also accuses Beijing of exerting diplomatic and economic pressure on the countries hosting these refugees.

If they return to China, these refugees expose to high risks of massive arbitrary detentions, forced labor and imposed sterilizations, further specifies the text.

The Uighurs, Sunni Muslims who speak a Turkic language, are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang (northwestern China), a region long hit by bloody attacks attributed to Islamists and separatists.

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A female protester takes part in a rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on International Women's Day, to protest the treatment of the Uighurs by China. (File photo)

As a response, the Chinese authorities had launched, in the mid-2010s, a vast campaign of repression in the name of anti-terrorism.

This motion comes two years after the #x27;Canada passed another motion, also non-binding, which equated China's treatment of its Uighur minority with genocide. Beijing then denounced “a malicious provocation”.

For several years, China has been accused of having locked up more than a million Uighurs in camps in Xinjiang and other members of predominantly Muslim minorities, including Kazakhs.

In Canada, there is currently a small Uyghur community of approximately 3,000 people.

In recent years, relations between China and Canada have deteriorated sharply, particularly after the arrest by Ottawa, at the request of the United States, of the financial director of Huawei , Meng Wanzhou, in 2018. She has since been released.