Canada’s Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights recently issued a press release in which it condemned the Chinese government’s brutal persecution of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, calling it genocide. The subcommittee found that more than 2 million Uyghur and other Turkic ethnic people have been detained, including children as young as 13 years old.
According to the subcommittee, this is the biggest mass detention in human history since Nazi Germany’s Holocaust. The detainees were abused physically, mentally, and sexually. The minority communities were forced to learn Chinese culture and language while proclaiming loyalty to the CCP. Detainees were subjected to swift and harsh punishment. Women and children were subjected to sexual abuse. Some detainees were forcefully injected with fluids that resulted in their loss of menstrual cycle. Incidences of forced labor were also identified. Uyghur birth rates have been forcefully brought down through mass sterilization campaigns.
The Chinese regime also collects DNA information about the Uyghurs to determine whether their organs are compatible for harvesting. Earlier this year, an international tribunal had found that the Chinese government was making around US$1 billion per annum by selling organs harvested from prisoners. And it’s not just Uyghurs who suffer from this torture. Beijing has been harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners for decades. Despite the Chinese government claiming that they stopped organ harvesting from dead prisoners after 2014, the practice is clearly still ongoing.
The report points out that the motive behind the persecution of Uyghurs is not only to eliminate their culture but also to profit economically. Xinjiang, where the majority of Uyghurs live, is rich in oil. In addition, the region is critical for the success of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Beijing does not want this region to be majorly populated by people who have a different cultural or ethnic tradition than mainstream Han culture.
To protect the rights of Uyghurs, the subcommittee asked the government of Canada to officially condemn the atrocities, gain access to Xinjiang through multilateral organizations, and impose sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for persecuting the community. “The Subcommittee unequivocally condemns the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang by the Government of China. 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,” the subcommittee said in a statement.
The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) and Justice For All (JFA) have both commended the observations made by the subcommittee. URAP requested the Canadian government to create an emergency relief program for Uyghur refugees who may be trapped in nations that might send them back to China.
A recent report by China expert Adrian Zenz has revealed Beijing’s policy of separating children from their parents. Some 10,000 children from Yarkand were found to be suffering from hardships due to one or more parents being detained. Around 1,000 of them had both parents in prison. Many have been sent to state-managed orphanages that are often located close to schools.
Between 2017 and 2019, the number of kids in boarding facilities grew by 380,000. By separating children away from their parents, the CCP wants to prevent the cultural transfer that happens between generations. Instead, the kids are taught to be loyal to the Party and adopt a philosophy that aligns with the communist ideology.