This afternoon, our President, Marie van der Zyl, has written directly to the Prime Minister, urging him to support an amendment to a trade bill which is due to come before the House of Commons next week. One of the amendments which the House of Lords has attached to the bill is specifically focused on the plight of the Uyghurs and the despicable treatment they are currently facing in China.
Such a letter (attached above) is an exceedingly unusual step for the Board of Deputies. But this is a very grave matter. As Marie writes to the Prime Minister: “As you noted so clearly in your speech for Holocaust Memorial Day last year, ‘as we resolutely proclaim, ‘never again’, it is right that we should also ask what happened to our resolve in the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.’ Today we stand at another of these crucial junctures, and it is time to act to protect the Uyghurs.”
She asks that Britain “takes its rightful place at the head of the global charge against what is shaping up to be the most serious outrage of our time.”
This letter follows an event organised by our organisation on this subject yesterday, at which MPs including Tom Tugendhat MP, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP and Lisa Nandy MP, spoke about the terrible situation in Xinjiang province. The full meeting can be viewed here.
As Marie writes: “This is a moment where Britain must be courageous. We share the vision of a Britain which stands tall as a force for good. We believe that our country must show the indomitable spirit which it has so often shown, which has made it the subject of global admiration. Where we lead, we are confident that others will follow.”
Read the letter in full here: Marie van der Zyl letter to Prime Minister Trade Bill Amendment 15012021 FINAL