Hold China to account for Uighur abuses
Letters Rahima Mahmut and Rose Harvie add their voices to that of the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, in urging readers to take action to put pressure on ChinaCotton harvesting in Xinjiang. ‘In the last few days we have seen new evidence published by the Center for Global Policy that nearly 600,000 Uighurs are forced into slave labour in cotton fields,’ writes Rahima Mahmut. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock
The moving call to arms by the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, challenges us all to speak out against what is happening to Uighurs (As chief rabbi, I can no longer remain silent about the plight of the Uighurs, 15 December).
The last few years have been unimaginably painful for me as a Uighur exile, but I take hope from the fact that the world is gradually waking up to what is happening. In the last few days we have seen new evidence published by the Center for Global Policy that nearly 600,000 Uighurs are forced into slave labour in cotton fields (Xinjiang: more than half a million forced to pick cotton, report suggests, 15 December) and we’ve seen Huawei exposed for testing facial recognition software that targets Uighurs.
We can all act. We can ask high-street clothing stores to move production out of China. We can ask the celebrities who work with Huawei to follow the Barcelona footballer Antoine Griezmann and end their relationship with that company. And we can ask our MPs to support stronger measures to hold China to account for the genocide that is happening as you read this letter.
UK project director, World Uyghur Congress; chair, Stop Uyghur Genocide
• Ephraim Mirvis makes a passionate appeal to readers to speak up about the plight of the Uighurs, while your news pages highlight the report by the Center for Global Policy on human rights abuses in the Chinese cotton industry.
On Tuesday I needed to buy new cotton knickers and socks. It was almost impossible to buy these items without a “Made in China” label. May I make a plea to concerned readers to search out alternatives, preferably made in Britain, or by companies with a proven ethical standard?