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January 12, 2021 2:12 pm

Top UK Jewish Group to Hold Emergency Meeting With MPs on Persecution of China’s Uyghur Muslims

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

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

A top UK Jewish group is holding an emergency meeting for British parliamentarians on the continuing persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China, as a new trade bill related to the issue comes up for a vote.

The Uyghurs are a religious and ethnic minority from the Chinese province of Xinjiang. In recent years the country’s government has undertaken a broad campaign of persecution against them, including forced deportations, suppression of religion and culture, indoctrination in communist ideology, internment in concentration camps, and other measures that activists have described as genocide.

Parallels to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust have been drawn, and Jewish groups — especially in the UK — have been at the forefront of pressure campaigns on the issue.

Next week, the British House of Commons will consider an amendment to a trade bill that would revoke or prevent trade deals with countries that the UK’s High Court determines are engaged in genocide.

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The Board of Deputies of British Jews announced Tuesday that it will brief members of parliament Thursday on the persecution of the Uyghurs, and urge them to vote in favor of the amended bill. The singer and activist Rahima Mahmut will speak for the World Uyghur Congress.

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, said, “The horrors which are taking place in Xinjiang cannot be denied.”

“We are not willing to stand aside and do nothing as millions of people are herded into concentration camps,” she said. “As people, stigmatized for their ethnicity and religion, are made to do forced labor. As women are forcibly sterilized. As children are removed from their parents.”

“We have seen this before,” she continued. “We know exactly where it can lead.”

“We urge the UK government to listen to the many Conservative MPs who support this amendment,” van der Zyl said. “It is not too late to act. Together we can make the Chinese government very much aware that should they continue in this way, there will be international consequences.”

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