July 7, 2009. Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, China. Hundreds of Uyghur protest following the detaining of hundreds of relatives by authorities. A total of 156 people were killed that day Photo: Guang Niu, Getty Images.
The Māori Party is backing a motion by the ACT Party to declare Parliament is gravely concerned about possible human rights abuses taking place against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
International reports have suggested China has attempted genocide upon the Uyghur people.
More than a million Uyghurs are estimated to have been detained in camps with many suffering inhumane practices.
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says she and Rawiri Waititi are voting for the motion to draw attention to the suffering of the Uyghur people.
She says, “We need to be calling out these atrocities for what they are, wherever they are happening in the world.
"The attempted genocide of these communities is undeniable - more than a million people are estimated to have been detained at camps in the region of Xinjiang and many are suffering from horrible inhumane practices, such as organ harvesting.
“Te Pati Māori has a strong track record on standing up for human rights and indigenous rights in Aotearoa and internationally.
"We will continue to advocate for indigenous peoples and fight racism and bigotry in all its forms,” Ngarewa-Packer says.
Supporting Uyghurs and West Papua
Waititi says the Māori Party stands with the Uyghur people, as well as with people of West Papua who, he says are also suffering attempted genocide.
He says, “We stand in solidarity with all indigenous and oppressed peoples right around the world.
"Just as we stand with the Uyghur people, we too stand with our Pasifika whanaunga in West Papua who are suffering genocide.”
Only last week, the left-wing British newspaper Morning Star reported that West Papua's liberation movement leader, Benny Wenda, had hit out at a “crackdown order” by Indonesian President Jokowi Widodo, accusing him of waging a genocide against the region’s people.