Your situation reminds me of Holocaust, rabbi tells daughter of imprisoned Uyghur woman

Rabbi Wittenberg, whose grandfather was interned in Dachau, was responding to testimony from daughter of Uyghur Muslim doctor sentenced to 20 years behind bars


Demonstrators hold up a giant East Turkestan (Uyghur) flag as they take part in a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Berlin on December 27, 2019, to call attention to Chinas mistreatment of members of the Uyghur community in western China. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Faith leaders came together on Monday to express solidarity with China’s Uyghurs ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day. 
Reform, Masorti and Liberal rabbis contributed to the interfaith event hosted virtually by two human rights groups, one Jewish and the other Christian - René Cassin and CSW. 
A pre-recorded video broadcast during the event included contributions from rabbis Laura Janner Klausner, Jonathan Wittenberg, Dr Michael Hilton and Dr Margaret Jacobi.
“We know as Jews what it feels like to be victims of genocide and the enormous difference it makes when people are allies,” Rabbi Janner Klausner said. “We will always be your allies.”
Ziba Murat, who is based in the US, spoke about her mother, Gulshan Abbas, a 57-year-old Uyghur Muslim doctor sentenced to 20 years behind bars on terrorism-related charges. “Of course, it's a nightmare I wish I could wake up from,” she told the event. 
Her aunt, Rushan Abbas, is a prominent Uyghur rights activist.
Ms Murat said: “Never again should mean something. The legacy of millions of innocent people brutally murdered demands this. This isn't just about me. This isn't just about Uyghurs, but by addressing these individual cases by demanding my mum's freedom, we are also protecting the future of the world, and the conscience of humanity.”
Rabbi Wittenberg, whose grandfather was interned in Dachau, said he was “deeply touched and moved” by her testimony. 
“You remind me of family letters from after the war where my family were looking for loved ones, longed to hear their voice and could not find them. 
“I want to say on behalf of my people, on behalf of the Jewish people in the best way we can, that you are not alone, and that participating here speaking or indeed listening is a responsibility to care, and to commit to caring for you and for your people.”
Other event contributors included the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams, Humanists UK’s chief executive Andrew Copson, and Al Haj U Aye Lwin, chief convener for the Islamic Centre of Myanmar.
Beijing faces widespread claims of human rights abuses, including allegations of forced labour and sterilisation, which it denies. It claims that detention camps in its Xinjiang province where many Uyghurs have been held offer vocational training.
This year’s HMD ceremony, inspired by the theme “be the light in the darkness”, will be live-streamed in its entirety on Wednesday evening. 

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