Dutch parliament: China's treatment of Uighurs is genocide | Inquirer News
Close  

Dutch parliament: China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide

/ 10:51 AM February 26, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Security guards stand at the gates of what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Huocheng County in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch parliament on Thursday passed a non-binding motion saying the treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority in China amounts to genocide, the first such move by a European country.

Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least one million Muslims are being detained in camps in the remote western region of Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labor and sterilizations.

ADVERTISEMENT

China denies any human rights abuses in Xinjiang and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.

“A genocide on the Uighur minority is occurring in China,” the Dutch motion said, stopping short of directly saying that the Chinese government was responsible.

FEATURED STORIES

The Chinese Embassy in The Hague said on Thursday any suggestion of a genocide in Xinjiang was an “outright lie” and the Dutch parliament had “deliberately smeared China and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.”

Canada passed a resolution labelling China’s treatment of the Uighurs genocide earlier this week.

The Dutch motion said that actions by the Chinese government such as “measures intended to prevent births” and “having punishment camps” fell under United Nations Resolution 260, generally known as the genocide convention.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD party voted against the resolution.

‘Great concern’

Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the government did not want to use the term genocide, as the situation has not been declared as such by the United Nations or by an international court.

“The situation of the Uighurs is a cause of great concern,” Blok told reporters after the motion was passed, adding that the Netherlands hoped to work with other nations on the matter.

The author of the motion, lawmaker Sjoerd Sjoerdsma of the centre-left D-66 Party, has separately proposed lobbying the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics away from Beijing.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Recognizing the atrocities that are taking place against the Uighurs in China for what they are, namely genocide, prevents the world from looking the other way and forces us into action,” he told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.

In a statement on its website, the Chinese Embassy in The Hague said the Uighur population in Xinjiang has been growing in in recent years, enjoying a higher standard of living, and a longer life expectancy.

“How can you call this a genocide?” it said. “Xingjiang-related issues are never about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about combating violent terrorism and succession.”

China’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva accused Western powers on Wednesday of using the Uighur issue to meddle in his country’s internal affairs.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, Dutch parliament, genocide, human rights abuses, The Netherlands, Uighur Muslims
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.