Faith leaders speak out against potential genocide of Uyghurs

10 August 2020 – 20 Av 5780
Uyghurs letter

10 August 2020

Liberal Judaism’s interim director Rabbi Charley Baginsky has joined with 75 other faith leaders to call for urgent action to prevent “the potential genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslims in China”.

Twenty rabbis from across the denominations – including Liberal Judaism’s Rabbis Aaron Goldstein, Richard Jacobi, Margaret Jacobi, Monique Mayer and Lea Mühlstein – signed the open letter calling for action to stop atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which the Uyghurs refer to as East Turkestan.

They were joined by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Cardinals of Myanmar and Indonesia, the Coptic-Orthodox Archbishop of London Anba Angaelos and some of Britain’s most senior Muslim, Buddhist and Humanist leaders.

The letter reads: “As religious leaders and leaders of belief-based communities, we come together to affirm human dignity for all by highlighting one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in China.

“We have seen many persecutions and mass atrocities. These need our attention. But there is one that, if allowed to continue with impunity, calls into question most seriously the willingness of the international community to defend universal human rights for everyone – the plight of the Uyghurs.

“At least one million Uyghur and other Muslims in China are incarcerated in prison camps facing starvation, torture, murder, sexual violence, slave labour and forced organ extraction.

“Outside the camps, basic religious freedom is denied. Mosques are destroyed, children are separated from their families, and acts as simple as owning a Holy Quran, praying or fasting can result in arrest.”

It concludes: “We urge people of faith and conscience everywhere to join us: in prayer, solidarity and action to end these mass atrocities. We make a simple call for justice, to investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account and establish a path towards the restoration of human dignity.”

You can read the full letter here.

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