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CIC Edmonton: Uyghurs in China – Oppression and International Responses
January 28, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm ESTFree
Since 2017, at least one million Uyghurs have been interned in more than 85 detention camps in Xinjiang, a region in Northwest China. Chinese officials long denied that the camps existed, but after images of the facilities emerged, the Chinese government acknowledged what they call “re-education centers” for Uyghurs.
There are around 11 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang—a territory formerly known as East Turkestan—which has been part of China since it was annexed in 1949. Xinjiang is rich in oil and minerals, is China’s largest producer of natural gas, and is a key part of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Members of the Uyghur Muslim minority say they have been detained, interrogated, and beaten because of their religion. China claims that Uighurs hold extremist views that are a threat to security. Between 2017 and 2018, the Chinese government demolished mosques and passed a series of laws prohibiting men from growing long beards.
In 2019, 22 countries (including Canada) wrote a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning Chinese leadership for “large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uighurs” and calling the detention camps “a horrific campaign of repression.” Four days later, 37 countries (including several Muslim-majority countries) responded with their own letter defending “China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights” and condemning “terrorism and religious extremism.”
Since then, a total of 30 countries have condemned China at the United Nations General Assembly.
When: Thursday, January 28 10, 2021
What time: 6PM – 7PM MT
On January 28, CIC Edmonton will be joined by two experts who will answer your questions on this topic. They are:
Garnett Genuis, Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan and Shadow Minister for International Development and Human Rights. Mr. Genuis was elected to Parliament in 2015 and previously served the House as deputy critic for Human Rights and Religious Freedom.
Mehmet Tohti, Executive Director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project based in Ottawa. Mr. Tohti is a prominent Uyghur-Canadian activist and co-founder & former vice-president of the World Uyghur Congress