President of the United States, Mr Joe Biden
Prime Minister of Italy, Mr Mario Draghi
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Boris Johnson
President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen
President of France, Mr Emmanuel Macron
Chancellor of Germany, Ms Angela Merkel
President of the European Council, Mr Charles Michel
Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Yoshihide Suga
Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau
We write to you, as representatives of the world’s leading democracies gathering this year in Cornwall to help the world fight Covid-19 and then build back better and create a greener, more prosperous future.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has become one of the world’s biggest challenges in recent years, faced by all people everywhere, we cannot forget about other challenges and issues which require urgent and coordinated action.
Recent legal analyses suggest that the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China are subject to genocide and crimes against humanity. The reported atrocities against these communities include killings, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, physical and mental abuse, rape and sexual violence, enforced disappearance, forced incarceration in camps, human trafficking, forced labour, forced abortions and forced sterilisations, removal of children to another groups, and much more.
Despite the ever-growing evidence of the atrocities, the response from the international community continues to be inadequate. Only a few States have condemned the atrocities. Even fewer States imposed sanctions against those most responsible. A few have banned certain products from China that may be produced by forced labour from these communities. However, responses to genocide cannot be the responsibility of a few, but instead require a coordinated effort by like-minded governments acting together. The international community must work together to address this crisis and end this crime that seeks the annihilation of a group, in whole or in part.
The inaction thus far is a result of States prioritising other interests, including economic interests, over human rights and their duties to protect communities from such atrocities as genocide. However, we should not have to choose between economic interests and human rights, or indeed, economic interests and the existence of religious minority groups. If we are faced with such a choice, it means that the current international rules-based order is not functioning. If we are to build back better, we need to address this flaw that prevents the realisation of human rights for all, and accommodates inaction in the face of such atrocities as genocide.
We call upon you to ensure that as we build back better, this effort includes the protection of human rights and human dignity for all, as aided by the enforcement of international treaty obligations, including the duties to prevent and punish the crime of genocide, and values that are not to be jeopardised because of economic or other interests.
We call upon you to stand in solidarity with Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China, condemn the atrocities and work towards comprehensive responses, including investigating and prosecuting the crimes, assisting the survivors and protecting them from future atrocities.
Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London
Bishop Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro
Lord Williams of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK
Fr Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Dominican Order
Rt Rev John Perry, former Bishop of Chelmsford
Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Senior Imam, Makkah Mosque, Leeds, Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board and Senior Editor, ImamsOnline
Desmond Biddulph CBE, President of the Buddhist Society, UK
Revd Cindy Kent MBE
The Reverend Dr Andrew Bennett, Senior Fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute, and former Canadian Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Canada
Imam Dr Usama Hasan, London
Sonam T Frasi, FCA, RAS, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, Poland and the Baltic States, London, UK
Rabbi Joel Kenigsberg, Magen Avot
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, Maidenhead Synagogue
Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, Lord Bishop of St Albans
Rabbi Miriam Berger, Finchley Reform Synagogue
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Chief Executive Officer, Liberal Judaism
Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman, New West End Synagogue
Rabbi Dr. Margaret Jacobi, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue
Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi for Masorti Judaism
Rabbi Paul Freedman, Senior Rabbi – Radlett Reform Synagogue
Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, Nottingham Liberal Synagogue
Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE
Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski, Senior Rabbi, Golders Green Synagogue
Rabbi Piny Hackenbroch, Senior Rabbi, Woodside Park Synagogue
Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, The Ark Synagogue
Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen, Principal Rabbi, Manchester Reform Synagogue
Rabbi Avidan Freedman, Director, Yanshuf Coalition, Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, Senior Scholar in Residence, Hadar Institute of New York and Jerusalem
Rabbi Eryn London, London, UK
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Executive Director, JCRC/AJC: A partnership for community relations and Jewish advocacy, USA
Rabbi Alan J. Yuter, Torat Reva, Jerusalem
Rabbi David Rosen KSG CBE, Co-President, Religions for Peace.
Rabbi David Kalb, Jewish Learning Centre of New York, USA
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, Director Emeritus, UCLA Hillel, USA
Rabbi Shimon Brand, USA
Rabbi Dina Najman, The Kehilah of Riverdale, Riverdale, NY, USA
Rabbi Avi Herzog, Givat Ze’ev, Israel
Rabba Dr Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz, London, UK, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester
Rabbi Yair Silverman, Moed -Zichon Yaackov, Israel
Rabbi Barry Dolinger, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Beth Sholom, President, Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island, USA
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Ph.D., Los Angeles, Ca, USA
Rabba Dr Carmella Abraham, USA
Rabbi Professor Yehudah Mirsky, Brandeis University, Formerly of US State Department
Rabbi Alana Suskin, Pomegranate Initiative, Washington, DC
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek: The Orthodox Social Justice Movement
Rabbi Dr. Jeremiah Unterman, Former Director of the Association of Modern Orthodox Day Schools and Yeshiva High Schools in North America
Rav Hayim Leiter, Founder and CEO of Magen HaBrit