23 March 2021
International Jewish Human Rights Organizations Acknowledge Sanctions as Important First Step Against Chinese Officials, Call for Continued Pressure to Protect Human Rights.
On Monday the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States approved the imposition of sanctions to be placed against four Chinese officials who are involved in the running of the concentration camps in Xinjiang where millions of Uyghurs have been and continue to be subjected to gross human rights violations and genocide. Following the announcement, the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), Jewish World Watch and René Cassin representing the three international bodies released the following statement:
As a collection of human rights organizations, we very much support the sanctioning of Chinese officials and the spotlight this shines on the grievous situation in Xinjiang, indeed we have campaigned and advocated for the EU to hold China accountable for over a year. While we applaud this step, we urge continued pressure against China in their campaign to eradicate the Uyhghur people. Regretfully, these sanctions can only be considered symbolic and not conducive to a genuine change in the interest of human rights.
In effect, the sanctions as announced punish individuals involved in the construction, maintenance and continued running of the concentration camps in Xinjiang. While this proves the world is aware of the human rights violations and indescribable suffering taking place, such token displays of punishment lack justice for those in need. The Chinese CommunistParty continues to commit what can only be called state-sponsored genocide. Pressure must be applied forcefully to save lives and prevent cultural oppression.
Every year we listen to international leaders commemorate the Holocaust, rightfully committing to never again stand by as genocide occurs. As a group made up of Jewish activists, volunteers and leaders within the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States, it is incumbent on us all to speak out when the promise of never again recedes into acceptance of global atrocities. We will continue to do so and urge the international community to join us in the fight for Uyghur justice. We urge the EU, the USA and the UK to pass motions recognising the atrocities against the Uyghurs as genocide and crimes against humanity.