Lawmakers in Britain voted Thursday to recognize that the Chinese government is carrying out a genocide against the Uyghurs, numerous sources reported.

The House of Commons passed a resolution Thursday condemning China’s “mass human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region,” according to CNN. Britain joins the U.S. — which became the first country in the world to formally recognize that the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide in January — after its declaration.

A member of the Uyghur community holds a placard as he joins a demonstration to call on the British parliament to vote to recognise alleged persecution of China’s Muslim minority Uyghur people as genocide and crimes against humanity in London on April 22, 2021. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Other countries that have recognized the human rights abuses in Xinjiang include Canada and the Netherlands, according to CNN. (RELATED:‘They Think The 21st Century Will Be The Chinese Communist Century:’ Report Shows China’s Crackdown On Religious Freedom)

The Chinese government is accused of operating detention centers in Xinjiang and detaining up to 2 million Uyghur Muslim minorities, often for wearing long beards, refusing alcohol, or showing signs of “religious extremism.” Detainees of the camps have reported torture, rape, and forced sterilization.

According to the United Nations, genocide is defined as acts committed to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Genocide can include killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm, and imposing measures to prevent births within the group.  

The motion does not compel the British government to enact any policy in response to the genocide recognition, but it is likely to hurt relations between Britain and China. 

In March, China imposed sanctions on several British lawmakers who have been outspoken about human rights atrocities in China. 

Among them is a Tory member of Parliament (MP) Nusrat Ghani, who introduced the motion, and told lawmakers that “while we must never misuse the term genocide, we must not fail to use it when it’s warranted,” according to CNN.

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