Voice of the Jewish News: We’ve spoken, now we must act over Uyghurs

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Voice of the Jewish News: We’ve spoken, now we must act over Uyghurs

This week's editorial reflects on this newspaper's campaign to put pressure on the Chinese government over its treatment of Uyghurs Muslims

Jewish News Reporter
Thousands of Muslims held a rally in front of the China Embassy-Jakarta in Indonesia last year, protesting the treatment of Uyghurs. (Credit Image: © Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire)
Thousands of Muslims held a rally in front of the China Embassy-Jakarta in Indonesia last year, protesting the treatment of Uyghurs. (Credit Image: © Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire)

When Jewish News ran a front page earlier this year with the headline ‘Chilling echoes’ – in reference to the abuse of the Uyghurs and parallels with the Shoah – we didn’t do so lightly. Any hint of a parallel with the darkest chapter in human history is something we’d always caution against. But the discovery of tonnes of hair taken from members of the minority community in China invoked emotions we as Jews simply could not ignore. Our unflinching intervention sparked the community to talk widely – and act – in a way it hadn’t before, with letters, opinion pieces in national newspapers and awareness-raising events. 

We hope our campaign enlisting the support of some 150 MPs and peers, calling on the government to turn up the pressure on China to halt its horrific actions, will spur yet more action in the corridors of power. While our proactive stance has been praised, the truth is that we should have spoken out sooner. 

This week’s Jewish News front page

We, more than most, know where persecution can lead. Reports about the horrors visited on the Uyghurs in China have long mounted: a million people are thought to have been detained and sterilisation and forced labour is commonplace. China can protest all it wants that these camps are for nothing more than “vocational” training but the world will not be fooled.

The British government has already accused China of “gross human rights abuses”. Now is the time to follow words with strong action. If your MP does not feature on the list of signatories on page two of this week’s newspaper, we urge you to contact them to add their name to a growing and influential list.

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