Board President writes to Chinese Ambassador citing 'similarities' between treatment of Uighurs and Nazi atrocities

Marie van Der Zyl's letter follows an appearance by the Chinese Ambassador to the UK on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show


The President of the Board of Deputies has written to the Chinese Ambassador to the UK pointing out “similarities” between what is happening to the Uighur people in his country today “and what happened in Nazi Germany 75 years ago.”

The letter by Marie van Der Zyl was in response to an appearance by His Excellency Mr Liu Xiaoming on Sunday’s BBC1 Andrew Marr Show in which the ambassador said that the Uighurs received the same treatment under the law as other ethnic groups in his country, despite being shown drone footage of the Muslim minority group being blindfolded and led to trains.

Mrs van der Zyl wrote: “Nobody could watch the segment of the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on which you appeared yesterday and fail to notice the similarities between what is alleged to be happening in the People’s Republic of China today and what happened in Nazi Germany 75 years ago: People being forcibly loaded onto trains; beards of religious men being trimmed; women being sterilised; and the grim spectre of concentration camps.”

She added: “Mr Ambassador, we urge China today to release the Uighur people and other minorities from all ethnic and religious oppression; throw open the doors of the camps to a full and impartial international investigation; take action against the perpetrators of any human rights abuses; and ensure justice for the victims and their families. This must begin immediately."

The Board’s President noted how Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated each year to recall  “how one of the mightiest, most advanced nations in the world sought to commit genocide against a religious and ethnic minority in its midst.”

Alerting the Chinese Ambassador to the Board’s  “grave concerns” about the treatment of the Uighur people and other religious minorities in his country, the letter adds: “Germany has rightly paid a heavy price for its persecution of the Jewish people. Its historic guilt rests heavily on it and, 75 years on, its leaders and representatives continue to do all they can to make amends for the sins of their forebears. ”

The letter warns: “China risks squandering its achievements and sabotaging its own legacy if it fails to learn the lessons of history. The world will neither forgive nor forget a genocide against the Uighur people.”

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