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Christian human rights campaigner calls MPs declaration of genocide in China 'hugely significant'

by Premier Journalist

For the first time, MPs in the House of Commons have declared China's treatment of the Uighur people and other religious minorities as genocide. 

It's believed more than a million people are being subjected to human rights abuses in the region of Xinjiang in north-west China.

Ben Rogers, a member of the Inter -Parliamentary Alliance on China, gave his reaction to Premier: "I think it's hugely significant. It's actually historic. And it comes after quite a few months of efforts by parliamentarians to address this question. The most significant thing about it is that it was unanimous. And that's a clear view from the House of Commons, which I hope will urge the government now to take this seriously and to do more."

The motion, calling on the government to fulfil its obligations under international human rights law, is non-binding, but it's thought it will prompt the government to take a harsher stance on the issue: "We don't know yet what the government will do in response, but I think the government can't ignore such a unanimous motion, they will need to look at ways to strengthen their reaction to the atrocities against the Uighurs and others in China."

Ben Rogers says that while the vote also applied to other religious minorities in China, including Christians, not all are facing genocide: "I didn't think the motion is necessarily saying, for example, that Christians who face severe persecution, are facing genocide, no one is suggesting that. We believe the Uighurs are facing genocide, and certainly others are facing crimes against humanity and very grave human rights violations."

Mr Rogers, who is also an adviser to the Stop Uighur Genocide Campaign, is now calling on the UK government to form an international coalition to take action against the Chinese Communist Party regime: "Is this a regime that we really want to be doing business with? I think there needs to be a recalibration of that relationship .a kind of coalition that could co-ordinate sanctions against both individuals and entities associated with the regime that are complicit in the genocide."

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