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September 6, 2020 10:16 pm

Leading Canadian Jewish Group Joins Demand for Action Against Chinese Persecution of Uyghur Muslims

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Uyghur Muslims rounded up by Chinese authorities for transport to concentration camps. Photo: Twitter.

A leading Canadian Jewish group joined with leaders of the Uyghur Muslim community over the weekend to condemn China’s persecution of the Uyghurs and demand that Canada and other members of the international community take action against it.

The statement, by B’nai Brith Canada, the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, and the World Uyghur Congress, pointedly condemned China’s current policies toward the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in the region of Xinjiang, who have been subjected to a brutal campaign of dislocation and “reeducation” by the Chinese government in recent months.

Reports indicate that this campaign has included deportations to concentration camps, torture, unsanitary conditions, and psychological pressure techniques intended to force the Uyghurs to conform to the communist party line.

“For Jews around the world, such events have a terrible resonance and provide a moral imperative to speak out,” B’nai Brith said in the statement.

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Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, added, “We are calling on all international human rights organizations to unequivocally condemn the mistreatment of the Uyghurs and to join us in making this issue a pivotal part of our campaigning.”

“We also call on the Government of Canada to condemn China’s conduct in the strongest possible terms, and to use all available means to help bring it to an end,” he added.

Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress, said, “China is committing full-scale ethnic genocide against Uyghurs and targeting our distinct identity through vast networks of concentration camps, torture, and death chambers.”

“We are very grateful that B’nai Brith Canada and the global Jewish community, victims of genocide themselves in the past century, are standing in solidarity with Uyghurs in the face of evil,” he stated.

Mehmet Tohti, Executive Director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, Canada, called the persecution of the Uyghurs “a 21st century ethnic genocide.”

“The silence of many nations around the world is shocking the conscience of human civilization,” he asserted. “The time for verbal expression of concern is over. Now, we need action to fulfill our promise of Never Again.”

The groups urged the government of Canada to pressure the Chinese government to grant the United Nations full access to Xinjiang, demand a full report on the Uyghurs’ current situation, condemn Chinese persecution of minorities, and speak out on the issue in international forums.

In addition, B’nai Brith called on the Canadian government to sanction Chinese officials for their involvement in the persecution of the Uyghurs.

The group also demanded the release of Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, who is being held captive by the Chinese government for his work on behalf of Uyghur rights.

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