Never Again? A Jewish response to the Uyghur crisis

27 Mar, 2019 | Events, Genocide, Latest

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A panel discussion
Thursday 9 May, 7 – 8.30pm
René Cassin, 853 Finchley Road, London NW11 8LX

UPDATE 15 May 2019 – for a report on the event, more information about the Uyghur crisis and suggestions of actions you can take – visit

Seventy years ago our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin, said ‘never again’ to the horrors of the Holocaust, and Raphael Lemkin coined the word ‘genocide’ to prevent future mass killings. But genocide keeps happening, and there are worrying signs that it may happen again in the far West of China.

Around a million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are being held in ‘re-education camps’ in China’s Xinjiang region. They are being persecuted because of their Turkic culture, and their Muslim faith.

Here in London, the Uyghur people can feel far away. But at René Cassin we believe it is important to bear witness to what is happening, raise awareness among the Jewish community, and advocate for an end to China’s persecution of its minorities.

At this special event chaired by the BBC’s John Sweeney, we will hear from experts on China and the Uyghurs, and a leading Rabbi from our community. We will hear testimony from a member of the Uyghur diaspora. And we will ask why ‘never again’ keeps happening, and what leadership and solidarity the Jewish community can offer in the face of this human rights tragedy.

The Panel

John Sweeney is an award-winning investigative journalist, who has reported from over 60 countries. In August 2018, his report ‘Is China brainwashing Muslim Uyghurs?’ was shown on BBC Newsnight.

Dr Rachel Harris is Research Coordinator of the School of Arts at SOAS, University of London. She has published extensively on religious and expressive culture among the Uyghurs and cultural policy in China.

Rahima Mahmut is a London-based singer, translator, human rights activist, and public speaker. She was born in Ghulja, near the border of Kazakhstan. She has lived in the UK since 2000. Her translation of The Land Drenched in Tears, a first-hand account of life for ethnic minorities in Mao’s China, won English PEN’s writers in translation award.

Benji Stanley is the Rabbi of Westminster Synagogue, an independent shul in the middle of London. He is passionate about getting stuck into texts and has taught at and helped to build Open Talmud Project, the Limmud Bet Midrash, Willesden Minyan, and the Ya’ad Reform Young Adult Leadership Programme

The venue
853 Finchley Road is a four-minute walk from Golders Green underground station. There is a sign outside the building which says ‘JVS’ (for Jewish Vegetarian Society). Please contact us in advance if you have any access needs

Read Amy Woolfson’s article ‘Jews Mst Speak Up For the Uyghurs in China’ in Jewish News.

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