The UK’s House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed a motion declaring Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang region are suffering crimes against humanity and genocide.
The U.S. government in January also declared that the Chinese regime had committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and the U.S. House of Representatives on April 15 introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities.
MPs cited evidence and testimonies of detention camps, mass surveillance, rape, forced sterilization, organ harvesting, and said “it is time” for the UK to act.
The non-binding motion calls upon the UK government to “act to fulfill their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and all relevant instruments of international law, to bring it to an end.”
Garnett Genuis, a Canadian member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), called the motion is a milestone.
“Today’s vote is another milestone in the long road for justice for the Uyghur people. One by one, democratic parliaments around the world are beginning to recognise that the suffering of the Uyghurs is nothing short of genocide,” IPAC quoted Genuis on Twitter.
“Today’s vote is another milestone in the long road for justice for the Uyghur people. One by one democratic parliaments around the world are beginning to recognise that the suffering of the Uyghurs is nothing short of genocide.”
— Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (@ipacglobal) April 22, 2021
Benedict Rogers, the co-founder of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said this has been a “truly historic day.”
— Benedict Rogers 羅傑斯 (@benedictrogers) April 22, 2021
Nusrat Ghani, the British MP who proposed the motion, is one of the five British MPs sanctioned by the Chinese regime for being vocal on human rights abuses against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang.
During the debate, MP Sir Charles Walker said that all members of Parliament need to take a stand.
“When a national government sanctions one member of Parliament in this place, that government, that national government is actually sanctioning all members of Parliament in this place, and it is incumbent on all of us, all 650 of us to stand as one at this moment,” Walker said to MPs.
Ghani replied by saying she believed that the sanctions Beijing imposed on the MPs is “sanctioning this house and asking it to stop raising human rights abuses in Xinjiang,” and “the fact that we’re here today and having this debate shows that the sanctions just haven’t worked.”
On the same day, the Lithuanian Parliament also held a hearing to hear the evidence on human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang.
Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.