Over 120 MPs have sent a letter to the Chinese ambassador in London accusing Beijing of a “systematic and calculated programme of ethnic cleansing” against the country’s Uyghur Muslim minority.
The cross-party statement to Ambassador Liu Xiaoming compares China’s actions to Nazi Germany, referring to “truly chilling” similarities between recent footage showing shaven-headed male prisoners being unloaded from trains and that of Hitler’s concentration camps.
The letter, organised by Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, amounts to one of the strongest high-level condemnations yet from Britain of Chinese actions against the Uyghurs.
The letter states: “We understand that approximately one million people have been detained and held in detention camps. Those who have escaped give horrifying testimony of religious persecution, physical abuse and torture. Sickening footage was shown to you on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show in July of a large number of people blindfolded, kneeling and shaven, waiting to be loaded onto trains. The similarities between this video and historical footage of Nazi concentration camps are truly chilling.
“Your interview followed further shocking accusations that the Chinese government is actively pursuing a policy to reduce the Uyghur population with Uyghur women facing forced sterilisation, forced abortion and the forced removal of their wombs. It has even been reported that birth rates have fallen by 60% in some Uyghur areas.
“The Chinese Government’s actions must be stated for what they are: a systematic and calculated programme of ethnic cleansing against the Uyghur people. When the world is presented with such overwhelming evidence of gross human rights abuses, nobody can turn a blind eye.”
Beijing insists its camps in Xinjiang are vocational and educational training centres established as part of efforts to counter extremism. It refutes accusations of genocide and oppression as Western propaganda designed to harm China.