Motion Calls on Ottawa to Recognize Beijing’s Coercion of Overseas Uyghurs to Return to China

by EditorT

People take part in a rally to encourage Canada and other countries as they consider labelling China’s treatment of its Uyghur population and Muslim minorities as genocide, outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington on Feb. 19, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

By Andrew Chen

Following Parliament’s declaration of China’s repression of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims as genocide, a Liberal MP is introducing a motion to call on the federal government to further provide support to members of this minority group who fled the country but continue to face intimidation from the regime.

In February 2021, parliamentarians voted unanimously (266–0) in support of a motion that labels the arbitrary incarceration and abuse of an estimated 1 to 3 million Uyghurs by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China’s western province Xinjiang as an act of genocide.

Pursuant to that motion, Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi has introduced another motion, M-62, calling on the federal government to recognize that Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims who have fled to third countries continue to “face pressure and intimidation by the Chinese state to return to China,” where they face the serious risk of mass arbitrary detention, forced sterilization, forced labour, torture, and other atrocities.

The motion also calls for the recognition that many of these countries face continued diplomatic and economic pressure from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to detain and deport Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.

The motion didn’t say specifically which third countries are being coerced by the PRC to detain and deport Uyghurs fleeing China. The Epoch Times reached out to Zuberi to provide specific cases of such coercion, but didn’t immediately hear back.

In addition, the motion said the government should leverage the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program to expedite the entry into Canada of 10,000 Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection over two years starting in 2024.

Canada currently cannot welcome Uyghurs who are facing genocide within China, but can “provide safe haven for vulnerable Uighur within third countries,” which primarily include countries in North Africa and the Arab world, Zuberi explained during a parliamentary debate on Oct. 26, 2022.

“This program will not halt the genocide. It will put a slight dent in it. This program will not answer our obligation, the responsibility, to protect. It will in part answer it. This is something that speaks to our tradition. This is something that we can do, should do, must do,” he said.

Zuberi noted a number of other parliamentary initiatives aimed at addressing the CCP’s human rights violations that target numerous religious and ethnic minorities within its territories, as well as other Chinese citizens.

He pointed to Bill S-211, which speaks to forced labour and child labour. While the context of the bill, introduced in November 2021 by Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne, didn’t specifically mention China, it calls for fighting such forms of “modern slavery” in Canada’s supply chain.

Zuberi also highlighted Bill S-223, an initiative on forced organ harvesting, which has been a vile practice targeting Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and long before that, against the adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Gong. The bill received royal assent on Dec. 15, 2022.

M-62 has received seconding from the maximum number of 20 MPs from all major political parties. Joint seconding is a formal way for MPs to support a private member’s motion before it is called for debate.


Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto

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