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Letter to the Wokingham Paper - Uighur muslims

August 31, 2020 5:06 PM
By Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey

There is unequivocal evidence that terror is being perpetrated by the Chinese state against the Uighurs Muslims in the Xinjiang region of northwest China. This includes reports that concentration camps have been set up for the mass internment and 're-education' of up to a million Uighurs Muslims, along with reports of torture and coercion in these camps. The Uighurs also face harsh religious and cultural restrictions, for example - facial hair being too long, not being allowed to fast in Ramadan, and prohibitions on speaking the Uyghur language in public spaces.

In August 2018 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination challenged the Government of the People's Republic of China over abuses in Xinjiang. In September 2018, during her first ever speech in the role, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet noted the 'deeply disturbing allegations of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uighurs and other Muslim communities, in so-called re-education camps across Xinjiang'.

From our knowledge of history, does this sound familiar?

So, what can we do? We have written to our local MPs and the Foreign Secretary to ask them to exert pressure on the Chinese government, to give access to Human Rights and humanitarian organisations, such as the Red Cross, as well as journalists to Xinjiang region and the internment camps. I would urge everyone who cares about Human Rights to do the same.

Wokingham Liberal Democrats and Wokingham Liberal Democrat Borough Group

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Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey