FSWC and RWCHR Statement on the Chinese Government’s Persecution of Uyghurs

November 3, 2020


Toronto and Montreal (November 3, 2020) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) stand with the Uyghur community against the persecution and human rights abuses committed against their people by the Chinese government, and join the call on the Government of Canada to recognize, condemn and take measures to help put an end to the genocide taking place in Xianjing.

According to a statement released by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, nearly 2 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims are being detained in what witnesses have referred to as concentration camps and the largest mass detention of a minority community since the Holocaust.

The statement lists a series of human rights abuses that have taken place, based on witness testimonies, including efforts of assimilation and indoctrination to eradicate cultural and religious identity; sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence; concentration and forced labour camps as well as forced and coerced sterilization and abortion to reduce the population of the Uyghur community.

“The Canadian government must uphold its values and take a stand against the egregious human rights abuses that the Chinese government is committing against Uyghur people,” said Michael Levitt, FSWC president and CEO, who as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee helped initiate the hearings conducted by the Subcommittee. “We support the Subcommittee’s list of recommendations put forward, including calling on Canada to recognize that China’s actions against Uyghurs constitute a genocide and work with international partners to defend and protect the rights of Uyghurs.”

“The mass atrocities targeting the Uyghurs constitute acts of genocide under the Genocide Convention, including mass internment in concentration camps; coercive population controls; incitement to genocide; and massive assaults on Uyghur memory, religion, culture, language and identity,” said RWCHR Chair Irwin Cotler, whose testimony was featured in the Subcommittee’s statement and recommendations. “The Canadian Parliament should make a determination that these crimes against humanity effectively constitute acts of genocide, and join with our allies to secure justice for the victims and accountability for the violators.”

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