Calling out Genocide

“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind” (Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).

René Cassin is working to highlight China’s brutal repression – including: mass detention, forced labour, forced sterilisation, destruction of religious sites, near-total digital surveillance – of its Uyghur Muslim minority. The US and UK have both labelled the Chinese government’s actions as ‘genocide’.

Our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin, co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in response to the atrocities committed in the Holocaust, and was of many Jews involved in establishing a post-war framework to ensure the horror of the Jewish experience of the Holocaust would ‘never again’ be repeated.

The Declaration’s preamble spells out the urgent necessity of that commitment:
“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind … Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”

However, ‘barbarous acts’ are not a thing of the past, and ‘never again’ has since happened again – In Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda – and is happening now to the Muslim Uyghurs in China, who are forced to deny their religion and culture in concentration camps set up by the Chinese Government.

As survivors of persecution – from the attempted genocide of Hannukah to the Holocaust – and as ‘speakers by experience’ who understand the need for empathy and solidarity, the Jewish community has a uniquely authoritative voice in speaking out against the persecution of others.

On 9 December 2021 an independent Uyghur Tribunal found the Chinese government guilty, without reasonable doubt, of the crimes of torture, crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim populations. 

“the tribunal is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the People’s Republic of China, by the imposition of measures to destroy a significant part of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang as such, has committed genocide” Sir Geoffrey Nice KC, People’s Uyghur Tribunal (2021).

The Chinese government’s persecution of the Uyghurs reflects some of the worst human rights violations including torture, forced steralisation, sexual abuse, political ‘re-education’, forced labour and separating children from their families. Uyghurs depend on actions taken by decision makers, businesses and civil society to secure a life of dignity and safety.  

Past event hosted by René Cassin

Campaign priorities include:

  • To continue to promote human rights as a legacy of the Holocaust and the unique contribution of Jewish individuals, including our namesake, that helped shaped the human rights framework of today.
  • To continue to pressure the UK political will to challenge the CCP (including local government, and businesses).
  • To continue to ensure good knowledge of and action on, across the Jewish community.
  • To expose the extent to which Western companies benefit from forced Uyghur labour.

What people say...

“Another great, powerful event with brilliant speakers and solidarity”

Following awareness raising event on Uyghur persecution

Verdict: Genocide!

On 9 December, the International Day for the Prevention of Genocide, the Independent People's Uyghur Tribunal panel...

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