Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called “unacceptable” China’s decision to impose sanctions on a legislator and members of a House of Commons subcommittee for raising the issue of “genocide” which was allegedly perpetrated against Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.
In a tweet responding to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s announcement on Saturday, Trudeau said: “China’s sanctions are an attack on transparency and free speech – values at the heart of our democracy. We support parliamentarians against these unacceptable actions and we will continue to defend human rights around the world with our international partners.
Canadian MP Michael Chong was instrumental in proposing a motion passed by the House of Commons on February 22 that defined Chinese actions in Xinjiang as reaching a threshold that could be described as “genocide”.
Four months earlier, the House of Commons international human rights subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development had called the persecution of the Uyghur minority community and other Turkish Muslims in Xinjiang as ” genocide”.
He called on the Canadian government to recognize him as such and to impose sanctions on Chinese officials believed to be responsible for perpetrating human rights violations in the region.
The subcommittee, chaired by Liberal Party MP Peter Fonseca, submitted its report on October 23.
Reacting to the punitive action by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chong tweeted, “We have a duty to call on China for its crackdown on #HongKong and its genocide of #Uyghurs. We who live freely in democracies under the rule of law must speak out on behalf of the voiceless. If it means China sanctions me, I will wear it as a badge of honor. “
In the announcement, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that those sanctioned were “banned from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau in China, and that Chinese citizens and institutions are not allowed to enter the mainland. had no right to do business with the people concerned and to interact with the entity concerned ”.
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) chairperson Gayle Manchin and vice chair Tony Perkins were also on the list.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Marc Garneau also criticized the sanctions imposed by China.
In a statement, he said: “The Government of Canada supports parliamentarians and all Canadians as we continue to work with our partners to defend democracy and freedom of expression, and will continue to act when international obligations under human rights issues are violated.