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July 20, 2020 1:08 pm

‘The Whole World Is Watching’: Top UK Jewish Group Urges China to End Persecution of Uyghur Muslims

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Rushan Abbas, executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs, speaks at a demonstration outside the White House, in Washington, DC, July 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Leah Millis.

A top British Jewish organization has sent a formal letter to the Chinese ambassador to UK, calling on Beijing to cease its persecution of the Uyghur Muslims.

The Uyghurs — a minority group living in the Xinjiang region — have been subjected to a brutal campaign of dislocation and “reeducation” by the Chinese regime in recent months, including deportations to camps, torture, unsanitary conditions and psychological pressure techniques intended to force them to conform to the ideology of China’s ruling Communist Party.

In the letter to Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl pointed out “similarities between what is alleged to be happening in the People’s Republic of China today and what happened in Nazi Germany 75 years ago: People being forcibly loaded on to trains; beards of religious men being trimmed; women being sterilized; and the grim specter of concentration camps.”

“China risks squandering its achievements and sabotaging its own legacy if it fails to learn the lessons of history,” she said. “The World will neither forgive nor forget a genocide against the Uyghur people.”

“We urge China today to release the Uyghur people and other minorities from all ethnic and religious oppression; throw open the doors of the camps to a full and impartial international investigation; take action against the perpetrators of any human rights abuses; and ensure justice for the victims and their families. This must begin immediately,” Van der Zyl added.

“The world is watching,” she declared. “The hand of history is poised. For its future, China has a choice between great glory and eternal shame. Let it choose the former.”

Over the weekend, a British Muslim activist who is on a hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of the Uyghurs praised the Jewish community or its support and activism on the issue.

“My Jewish brethren are the only ones I ain’t gonna call out,” Maajid Nawaz tweeted. “They’ve stepped up already and are here with me right now.”

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