Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl sent a letter to Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming on July 20 stating that his government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims is analogous to Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews.

The letter noted that the similarities include “people being forcibly loaded on to trains; beards of religious men being trimmed; women being sterilized; and the grim specter of concentration camps.”

The letter went on to state that “China risks squandering its achievements and sabotaging its own legacy if it fails to learn the lessons of history,” and warned, “The world will neither forgive nor forget a genocide against the Uyghur people.”

The letter concluded with a call for the Chinese government to release Uyghur Muslims from the concentration camps and allow the camps to be investigated.

“The world is watching,” wrote van der Zyl. “The hand of history is poised. For its future, China has a choice between great glory and eternal shame. Let it choose the former.”

The letter comes after leaked drone footage released on July 15 showed Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups handcuffed and blindfolded, being led to trains in Xinjiang, which is located in northern China. When the BBC pressed Xiaoming about the video, he said he didn’t know where the footage had come from.

“Sometimes you have a transfer of prisoners, in any country,” said Xiaoming. “Uyghur people enjoy peaceful, harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups of people.”

The United States announced sanctions against various Chinese government officials on July 9 because of their treatment of the Uyghur Muslims.

“The United States will not stand idly by as the [Chinese Community Party] carries out human-rights abuses targeted [at Uyghurs], ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention, and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement at the time.

This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.

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