Religious persecution in China cannot be ignored, says Aontú leader

Urging the Irish government to ‘immediately condemn the barbaric measures

Religious persecution, concentration camps and genocide in China cannot be ignored, the leader of an all-Ireland political party has insisted, The Catholic Universe reports.

Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has led calls urging the Irish government to ‘immediately condemn the barbaric measures being used by the Chinese Government to slash the Uighur Muslim population in China’, as well as the persecution of people in Hong Kong and Chinese Christians.

‘The campaign has been labelled a ‘demographic genocide’ by international experts,’ a letter circulated in the Dáil by Deputy Tóibín states.

The letter urges Taoiseach Mícheal Martin to speak out on China’s policy of demographic genocide and to lobby other nations to do so as well.

The letter, which has received the support of several TDs and Senators from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Social Democrats, Greens, Aontú and Independents, expresses the signatories’ concerns ‘about the ‘detention camps’ to which women are being sent if they have more than the ‘permitted’ number of children’.

‘News outlets are now reporting that China has subjected ‘hundreds of thousands of women’ to forced pregnancy tests, forced birth control, sterilisation and forced abortions,’ states the letter, which is addressed to Mr Martin, as well as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney.

The signatories also express their ‘deep concerns’ at drone footage showing hundreds of men and women being led blindfolded onto trains, as well as reports of men and women being detained without charge or conviction for indefinite lengths of time in ‘thought transformation camps’.

‘We are pleading with you, Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Coveney, to urgently intervene and make Ireland’s opposition to this torture known,’ the signatories say. ‘We feel it would also be beneficial if the Irish government were to lobby other western and European countries to join us in condemning these practices.’

Mr Tóibín said: “In recent years and months, we have witnessed the brutalisation of so many minorities by the Chinese Communist Party. No more so than the Uighur Muslim community in China. It’s been reported that up to a million members of this community have been forced into camps.

“Indeed, newspapers have reported the seizure of over 13 tonnes of products made of human hair thought to be forcefully removed from Uighur Muslims in these labour camps. This has shocking echoes totalitarian regimes of the early 20th century.”

Mr Tóibín continued: “There have been reports that healthy members of the community that have been interned are being harvested for their organs which are to be sold on the black market! Ireland knows all too well what it is like to be without friends and allies whilst we were oppressed in our own country – will we stand by as the Uighur Muslims are brutalised?

“On the other side of the country the residents of Hong Kong now find the few liberties they had stripped away, and a police state enforced upon them. Christians in China are now being told to renounce their faiths in order to avoid prosecution and to avoid removal of benefits and their rights. It began with the Uighur Muslims, and is now spreading to the people of Hong Kong and Chinese Christians.

“I call upon the Taoiseach, to denounce persecution in China at the present time, and to lobby other Western nations to do so as well.”

Report courtesy The Catholic Universe 25 July 2020
Photograph courtesy Peadar Tóibín. (Niall Carson/PA).