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Board of Deputies to hold emergency meeting on plight of the Uyghurs ahead of Parliamentary vote
12 January 2021
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The Board of Deputies of British Jews has announced that it will hold an emergency meeting for MPs on the plight of the Chinese Uyghurs ahead of an important vote which will take place in the House of Commons in the coming days.

In December, the House of Lords voted to add an amendment to a trade Bill. This amendment would revoke or prevent bilateral trade deals between the UK and any country which the High Court determines is carrying out a genocide. That bill will return to the House of Commons in the coming days, when MPs will get the opportunity to vote on this amendment.

The Board of Deputies, alongside many MPs from all of Westminster’s main political parties, believes that this amendment – which is directly aimed at the treatment of the Uyghurs in China – needs to be passed when it is considered by the House of Commons next week. The event, which will take place on Thursday afternoon at 16:00 and will be live-streamed on the Board of Deputies social media channels, will include MPs such as Iain Duncan Smith, Tom Tugendhat, Nusrat Ghani and Christian Wakeford from the Conservatives, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy from Labour, Alistair Carmichael for the Liberal Democrats and many others. Rahima Mahmut will speak on behalf of the World Uyghur Congress.

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, said:

“The horrors which are taking place in Xinjiang cannot be denied. As the Foreign Secretary said this afternoon, ‘the evidence of the scale and severity of the human right violations against Uighur Muslims is now far reaching and paints a harrowing picture’.”

“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.”