Board to urge MPs to back tougher measures against China over Uyghur persecution

The communal organisation is supporting an amendment to a trade bill that would enable stronger action against countries found to have committed genocide


This photo taken on June 4, 2019 shows a man walking past a screen showing images of China's President Xi Jinping in Kashgar in China's northwest Xinjiang region. - China has enforced a massive security crackdown in Xinjiang, where more than one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are believed to be held in a network of internment camps that Beijing describes as "vocational education centres" aimed at steering people away from religious extremism. (Photo by Greg Baker / AFP) (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

The Board of Deputies is to urge MPs to back a measure that would empower the High Court to revoke bilateral trade deals with countries found to have committed genocide. 
The Jewish umbrella group will discuss the cross-party Lords amendment to a trade bill – to be voted on in the Commons in the next few days - within the context of China’s treatment of its Uyghur population during a virtual meeting Thursday.
Beijing has faced widespread claims of human rights abuses against the mostly Muslim group, including accusations of forced labour and sterilisation - which it continues to deny. China says detention camps in its Xinjiang province where many Uyghurs have been held offer vocational training.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy will be tuning in - as will Tory MPs Duncan Smith, Tom Tugendhat, Nusrat Ghani and Christian Wakeford, the Board said. 
Board president Marie van der Zyl said “horrors taking place in Xinjiang” could not be denied. 
“We are not willing to stand aside and do nothing as millions of people are herded into concentration camps. As people, stigmatised for their ethnicity and religion, are made to do forced labour. As women are forcibly sterilised. As children are removed from their parents. 
“We have seen this before. We know exactly where it can lead. And we urge the UK Government to listen to the many Conservative MPs who support this amendment. 
“It is not too late to act. Together we can make the Chinese Government very much aware that should they continue in this way, there will be international consequences.”

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