Some MPs, senators want action on China . . .
A group of 68 Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week to invoke Magnitsky Act sanctions against Chinese officials. In the letter, organized by the Alliance Canada Hong Kong, the signatories condemned the Chinese government “for the human rights atrocities happening in Tibet, occupied East Turkestan (Xinjiang), and Hong Kong.” This follows last month’s letter signed by 11 Senators, including two appointed by Trudeau, calling for Magnitsky sanctions on Chinese officials for similar reasons. The Sergei Magnitsky Act allows the government to impose sanctions on foreign officials responsible for violating international human rights.
Accusations of human rights atrocities in Xinjiang . . .
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published leaked Chinese Communist Party (CCP) documents last November detailing the oppression and mass imprisonment in internment camps of Uighurs, a Muslim minority group in China’s Xinjiang Province. Reports have called the actions of the Chinese government genocidal and have detailed how the CCP is using technology to monitor and sterilize members of the ethnic minority. China’s ambassador to Canada recently called these camps “vocational training centres.”
Pressure on Canada to respond . . .
The recent letters to Trudeau are part of a rising trend calling on the Canadian government to take a stronger stance toward China. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which was formed last month and is comprised of parliamentarians from over 15 countries, including Canada, is one such force calling for similar actions. Former Liberal Canadian Minister of Justice and renowned human rights activist Irwin Cotler is one of two members representing Canada. Many Uighur Canadians have also called on Canada to take stronger action against China, sharing personal stories of their family and friends’ experiences of oppression. Some pundits have also been calling for countries to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in response to activities in Xinjiang. Canada’s position on Xinjiang and Hong Kong has been cautious, but Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said last week he has not ruled out sanctions.