We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

UK Government must grant refugee status to all Uyghur asylum seekers

August 10, 2020 11:00 AM
By Alistair Carmichael
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The world has watched in horror as the persecution of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang has been revealed. From the initial reports of mass surveillance, to evidence of up to 3 million people forced into so called re-education camps, the situation is bleak and all too familiar.

We remain clear that the UK has a duty to act.

In just the last few months, drone footage believed to be from Xinjiang in China, showed Uyghurs kneeling and blindfolded, waiting to be led onto trains. At the same time, the Chinese Government is also accused of undertaking a programme of forced sterilisation against Uyghur women.

The situation is abhorrent. Over the course of the last three years, Liberal Democrats have urged the UK government to do more to stop this gross violation of human rights. We have led cross-party letters, parliamentary debates, and parliamentary motions.

We remain clear that the UK has a duty to act. That is why we have led on a cross-party letter this week to Priti Patel urging her to do the right thing and automatically give refugee status to the Uyghur people.

As Liberal Democrats, human rights are at the core of who we are as a party.

Internationalism, as well as our fundamental belief in equality and civil liberties, drives everything we do.

We cannot sit idly by while the Chinese government seeks to carry out a genocide on the Uyghur people.

That is why we are calling on the government to offer the Uyghur population asylum in the UK, so that they can flee the unthinkable horrors of the situation in Xinjiang and find safety here.

We are also urging the government to immediately bring forward Magnitsky legislation so that those individuals who are found to have committed human rights violations can be sanctioned.

History is watching us. We cannot sit idly by while the Chinese government seeks to carry out a genocide on the Uyghur people.

There is no justifiable excuse for failing to act. Liberal Democrats will keep pushing the government to do the right thing.