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French MPs officially recognize China’s treatment of Uyghurs as ‘genocide’

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French MPs officially recognize China’s treatment of Uyghurs as ‘genocide’

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France has joined other Western countries in formally condemning China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims as “genocide”.

The French Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution officially recognizing the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China as a crime against humanity.

The declaration comes just two weeks before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and was almost unanimously approved by French MPs.

NGOs have long accused China of holding more than a million Uyghurs and other Turkish minorities in sprawling labor camps in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

Beijing rejects the term “genocide” and has described the camps as vocational training centers to combat extremism.

The World Uyghur Congress hailed France’s decision as “a necessary step towards broader international recognition of the Uyghur genocide”.

French MPs also called on the French government to pass a similar resolution and take “necessary measures” to protect minorities.

The Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester, spoke on Thursday of “systematic violence” and “overwhelming testimonies” but maintained that the formal recognition of the genocide was a matter for international organizations and not for the government.

Riester added that the fate of Uyghur Muslims would be “discussed at the highest level” during talks with Chinese officials.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about violence against Uyghur Muslims in his speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

A number of other countries – including Belgium, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom – have already passed motions referring to a Chinese “genocide” against the Uyghurs.

The Netherlands was the first EU country to pass a non-binding resolution in February 2021.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has previously condemned China for human rights violations “constituting crimes against humanity”.

French MPs officially recognize China’s treatment of Uyghurs as ‘genocide’

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