The French Parliament adopts a resolution condemning the genocide of the Uyghurs in China – JURIST

France’s National Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution condemning Chinese political and humanitarian crimes against China’s Uyghur Muslim minority. The resolution calls on the French government to formalize its position on the genocidal nature of the crisis, a position already taken by the United States, Britain, Canada and the Netherlands.

According to the resolution, the French executive department has still not labeled the situation as “genocide”, having only labeled it an “institutionalized system of repression” in 2021. The document goes on to list Chinese actions against Uyghurs that warrant such a categorization, including increased surveillance both at home and abroad, forced sterilization, internment in labor camps, and an effort to erase Uyghur cultural heritage. Overall, the Chinese policy amounts to “a comprehensive and systematic state policy aimed at destroying the Uyghurs as a group in their own right”.

Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people originally from Central Asia, form the ethnic majority in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China’s largest province. Annexed to China in 1949, the region is the main target of President Xi Jinping’s “People’s War on Terror” in 2014, the declaration that coincided with the start of China’s oppressive policies. The French resolution says Chinese policy in the region intensified in 2016 when Chen Quanguo was installed as its top Communist Party official.

In November, Human Rights Watch accused sponsors of the upcoming Winter Olympics of supporting the genocide. In December, President Biden signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a bill that prevents the import of goods produced in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

This resolution by the French parliament risks straining relations with Beijing as they prepare to welcome the French athletes on February 4.

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