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Photo Credit: reurinkjan / CC BY (
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World News

More than 75 faith leaders demand an end to mass atrocities against China's Uyghyrs

by Tola Mbakwe

Dozens of faith leaders including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and five Anglican bishops have written a joint statement calling warning of a genocide of a Muslim minority in China. 

More than one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and members of other ethnic groups have been detained without charge in political re-education camps in the XUAR,which is an autonomous territory in northwest China
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the strength of the evidence leaves no doubt that mass detentions are taking place in the Uyghur region which violate domestic and international law.

On Sunday, 76 faith leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist faiths, claimed in a letter that the persecution of the Uyghur people has the potential of amounting to genocide. 

"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," they wrote. 

"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."

The leaders cited recent research that shows a campaign of forced sterilisation and birth prevention targeting at least 80 per cent of Uyghur women of childbearing age. 

They said it's obvious Chinese authorities what to "eradicate the Uyghur identity".
The group said added that as religious leaders its their duty to call out this injustice but it's the responsibility of parliamentarians, governments and jurists to investigate.

The statement reads: "After the Holocaust, the world said: 'Never Again.' Today, we repeat those words: 'Never Again' all over again. We stand with the Uyghurs. We also stand with Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Christians throughout China who face the worst crackdown on freedom of religion or belief since the Cultural Revolution."

The statement follows a letter last month from the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, to the Chinese ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming, and a message from former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, both of whom took the rare step of making comparisons between the Holocaust and atrocity crimes committed against the Uyghurs.

Stop Uyghur Genocide, the World Uyghur Congress, the Coalition for Genocide Response, CSW and the Board of Deputies of British Jews welcome the release of a statement.

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