Amsterdam [Netherlands], February 26 (ANI): The Netherlands Parliament on Thursday passed a motion saying the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur minority is a "genocide".
The Netherlands becomes the first European country to take such a move.
The motion, which is nonbinding, could encourage other European parliaments to advance similar statements, Politico reported.
Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.
The move comes a week after outgoing Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the Dutch government wasn't ready to declare the situation in the northwestern region of Xinjiang a genocide. Instead, he said, the situation was "large-scale human rights violations against Uyghurs."
But Dutch MPs wanted the government to go further. MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma from the coalition D66 party initiated the motion that declared the actions a genocide. He called on the government to follow suit, Politico said in a report.
"The detention camps where it is estimated that more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are locked up are so big that you can see them from space," Sjoerdsma said before the vote, calling the encampment "the largest mass incarceration of ethnic minorities since World War II."
On Monday, Canada's House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly to declare China's treatment of its Uyghur minority population a genocide.
The motion - which passed 266 to 0 - was supported by all opposition parties and a handful of lawmakers from the governing Liberal Party.
In the US, the previous Trump administration determined that China has committed genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang and said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) must be held accountable for its acts against humanity.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community,
Recently, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on China to allow independent rights observers "meaningful access" into the Xinjiang province to probe abuses.
"I want to reiterate the European Union's call on China to comply with its obligations on the national and international law to respect and protect human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities in Xinjiang, in Tibet, and in Inner Mongolia," Borrell said. (ANI)