French parliament members condemn China’s abuses against Uyghurs

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The French parliament has adopted an opposition-led motion urging the government to condemn China for “crimes against humanity and genocide” against the Uyghur Muslims and to take foreign policy measures to stop the abuses.

The Socialist party, supported by several other opposition parties, filed the non-binding motion that was adopted with 169 votes for and one vote against.

The motion, coming ahead of the start of the Winter Olympics in China, also asked the government to protect Uyghur residents in France against any intimidation or harassment by China.

Following a similar vote in the Dutch parliament in February 2021, the Chinese Embassy in The Hague said any suggestion of a genocide in Xinjiang was an “outright lie” and that the Dutch parliament had “deliberately smeared China and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in December that he did not want to “politicise” the Olympics.

The United States, Australia and Britain are among Western nations that have said they will not send officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in order to send China a message over its human rights record.

Activists and UN rights experts say at least 1 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 labour and sterilisations.

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

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