Statement from the Library’s Director Toby Simpson on the evidence of human rights abuses being committed against the Uighur people in Xinjiang, China:
We are gravely concerned by reports of human rights abuses against the Uighur people in Xinjiang, China, including accounts of crimes of genocide.
As Britain’s largest repository of evidence of the Holocaust and other genocides, The Wiener Holocaust Library will continue to use our platform to draw attention to this issue and to amplify the voices of victims.
We join the BHRC, the Board of Deputies, HMDT and other institutions in urging governments to take steps to bring an end to any ongoing violations of international law.
The Wiener Holocaust Library welcomes the recent article written by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis calling for urgent action to prevent further persecution of the Uighur people living in China. We agree with Rabbi Mirvis that crimes that we might hope would be ‘impossible’ to conceive of are in fact increasingly impossible to deny in the face of mounting evidence of crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide. We also agree that injustices that might seem ‘impossible’ to challenge or overturn, can in fact be effectively countered by the efforts of the international community. Please read further about the situation faced by the Uighur, write to your MP, and challenge companies who are implicated in the exploitation of forced labour.
Suggested further reading:
- The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) has published a new report on seeking accountability for the Uighur people in Xinjiang, China.
- On 16 July 2020, BBC Newsnight aired a special programme highlighting how a group of Uighurs in exile have submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court in the Hague urging prosecutors to investigate human rights abuses.
- In April 2020, Rahima Mahmut, who is a member of the Uighur community, a human rights activist, and a representative for the World Uighur Congress wrote a blog for HMD telling of the discrimination and persecution the Uighurs face in China.
- Joanne Smith Finley’s article Why Scholars and Activists Increasingly Fear a Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang in the Journal of Genocide Research.
- Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, As chief rabbi, I can no longer remain silent about the plight of the Uighurs.