A Jewish News petition urging government action against China over the persecution of its Uyghur minority has been delivered to 10 Downing Street after it was signed by 150 parliamentarians.
Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani, who has been among the most vocal critics of ministerial side-stepping on the issue, presented the petition to Boris Johnson’s team, with the prime minister currently self-isolating as a Covid-19 precaution.
Six weeks ago Chinese diplomats reacted with anger at the Jewish News initiative, calling it “deplorable,” but organisers at the World Uighur Congress, together with Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, say the pressure is building.
Around one million Muslims are or have been detained in vast camps in Xinjiang, a region in the country’s northwest, according to human rights activists, who report mistreatment, torture and indoctrination.
China denies the allegations, calling the petition “deplorable slander” which “elaborates fact,” but rabbis from across the denominational spectrum have backed the newspaper’s campaign, as have Jewish communal and student leaders.
“After the ratification of the Genocide Convention the words ‘never again’ were a common political refrain,” they said in a joint letter last month. “We have an urgent moral obligation to give meaning to these words. If we fail to act now, we will have shown them to be empty.”
Politicians from the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union are lobbying for the UN to investigate claims of ethnic persecution in Xinjiang, angry at the perceived inaction of United Nations Human Rights Council on the issue.
Thank you @JewishNewsUK- the only UK paper to give repeated front page coverage to the plight of the Uyghur and petition Downing St to change policy on goods from prison camps and hold China to account. #MagnitskyAct4Uyghur @ipacglobal pic.twitter.com/Zl5FL8LAIz
— Nus Ghani MP (@Nus_Ghani) November 19, 2020
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