A few days before the opening of the Winter Olympics (OG) in Beijing, a resolution denouncing the “genocide” of the Uighurs, the Muslim minority in Xinjiang, by China was adoptedThursday 20 January, by the National Assembly of the French Republic.
This text, without binding scope, was presented as part of a parliamentary initiative day reserved for the Socialist Group. The Republic on the Move (LRM), had called on its members and supporters (MoDem and Agir ensemble), to speak out in its favor. It was adopted almost unanimously (169 votes for, 1 against and 5 abstentions).
Use of forced labor, widespread surveillance, torture, sexual violence, systematized rape, mass internment, policies of massive and forced sterilization, sinicization, eradication of Uighur culture and identity, separation of children from their families… Listing these crimes, the resolution details:
“These elements, now widely documented (…), testify to an intention to destroy Uighur identity, community ties, possibilities of filiation and intergenerational ties, and more generally to destroy Uighurs, including biologically, by as a whole group. This extreme and systematic political violence, organized and planned by the Chinese state, constitutes genocide. »
” Forced labor “
Proposal “invites the French government” to recognize what “genocide” and adopt “the necessary measures with the international community and in its foreign policy” towards China to put an end to this situation.
On behalf of the government, the minister responsible for foreign trade, Franck Riester, spoke of “systematic violence” and “overwhelming testimonials”but he argued that the formal qualification of “genocide” belonged to international bodies, not to the government. He assured that the fate of the Uighurs was “mentioned at the highest level” during interviews with Chinese officials, and recalled that it had been mentioned the day before in Emmanuel Macron’s speech to the European Parliament.
The first secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, denounced at the podium “the implacable machine which aims at the cultural and biological eradication of a people”. He also lambasted big Western companies “who continue to use forced labour” of this Turkish-speaking Muslim community.
Human rights organizations accuse China of having locked up more than a million Muslims in “political re-education” camps. Beijing, for its part, claims that the camps are in fact vocational training centers intended to keep them away from radicalization.