Madam Speaker, I have just come to the House from the hearings of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights. We spent all day in powerful hearings about the genocide happening in East Turkestan or Xinjiang in China where Uighur Muslims are facing all kinds of horrific human rights abuses simply on the basis of their faith and ethnic background. There was a clear consensus among witnesses that there is a genocide ongoing in Xinjiang, and there was a call from witnesses to take strong action here in Canada to respond to that genocide; indeed, to make meaningful our historic commitments to saying “never again”, that we will never again allow a people to be eradicated or attempts to eradicate them in this kind of way. Adrian Zenz, a senior researcher, described what is happening in Xinjiang as the largest mass incarceration of a minority since the Holocaust.
The calls to action included Canada's imposing Magnitsky sanctions against those involved in this gross violation of human rights, and also a response that would looks at the use of Uighur slave labour in our supply chains, with stronger legislation to prevent products that are produced through slave labour from making their way into our supply chains, as well as stronger measures to prevent government co-operation, like we have seen with Nuctech and security firms that are also involved in gross violations of human rights in East Turkestan.
The last panel at our hearing brings me to this question today, because we had an opportunity to hear from Kamila Telendibaeva, the wife of Huseyin Celil. Mr. Celil is a Canadian citizen of Uighur background who is currently in prison in China. He has been in prison in China for over a decade, and he has not had access to consular services. It is a horrific situation. He is the father of four, but he has never had an opportunity to meet his youngest son, because his wife was pregnant at the time he was taken. However, he was not arrested in China. He had travelled to Uzbekistan on a Canadian passport and was arrested in Uzbekistan and transferred to China. He has a wife and four sons here in Canada, the youngest of whom he has never met.
This horrific situation, the genocide of the Uighurs, in particular the detention of this Uighur Canadian, should seize Canadians and the government. I raised this issue at the Canada-China committee with our ambassador on February 5. Unfortunately, he initially seemed unaware of the case, and then he said that Mr. Celil was not a citizen. I note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has since corrected this, but it remains a fact that we have regular mention, and rightly so, of other Canadians who are detained in China, but we have not seen nearly the same level of attention paid to cases involving Canadian citizens who originated abroad. Cases such as Mr. Celil, Fan Wei or others have simply not gotten the same attention in statements by our ambassador as cases that involve those born in Canada. That is very disappointing, because I think that we should all believe in a principle that a Canadian is a Canadian, and yet we have not seen a strong enough response.
During the testimony today, witnesses asked that the government not only make right what was made wrong but that it also take further steps, including appointing a special envoy to look into this case. I want to know what the government's response is to those calls actions and—