Ógra Aontú have called on the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to condemn the horrors being inflicted on the Uyghur Muslim population by the Chinese government. Speaking today, Luke Peter Silke, PRO of Ógra Aontú, said:

“Today Aontú have issued a letter to the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs urging them to make Ireland’s condemnation of what’s happening in China known on the world stage. The letter, written by our party leader Peadar Tóibín TD, has been signed by Aontú Councillors across the island, and by TDs and Senators from the Green Party, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats as well as Independent TDs; Cathal Berry, Seán Canney, Carol Nolan, Michael Collins, Matiie McGrath and Michael McNamara along with Independent Senators; Ronan Mullen, Lynne Ruane, Gerard Craughwell, David Norris and Michael McDowell. This is incredibly significant, we have over twenty members of the Oireachtas, from across the political spectrum, and including members of the three parties in government, putting their names to our strongly letter”.

Luke-Peter continued; “We often look back at historical human rights abuses and wonder how so many people, at the time, stood silently by in complacency. Well the situation in China right now is not without historical precedent, indeed much of the language used by the Chinese government is eerily similar to language used in Europe seventy or eighty years ago. Forced abortions, forced sterilization and ‘thought transformation camps’ are the order of the day, with news outlets now reporting that Uighur Muslim women are being sent to these ‘detention camps’ if they have more than the ‘permitted’ number of children. The Associated Press is reporting that China has subjected ‘hundreds of thousands’ of women to forced pregnancy tests, forced birth control, forced sterilization and forced abortions. The situation has been labelled a ‘demographic genocide’ by international experts”.

“Drone footage has emerged in recent weeks that shows hundreds of men and women being led blindfolded onto trains, many of them being detained in the ‘thought transformation camps’ for indefinite periods without charge or conviction. In our letter to the government, Aontú has urged the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to make Ireland’s opposition to this torture known, and to lobby other European and Western countries to do the same. As a member of the European Union we have considerable influence and our leaders should not be afraid to speak up, and indeed if they don’t future history books shall judge them harshly”.

“For the past while Ógra Aontú has engaged in lobbying politicians vigorously to sign our letter. We have been very impressed by the engagement we’ve received from those on the right and on the left, in government and in opposition, each uniting together, despite our political differences, in condemnation of this torture. Now is not a time for silence or complacency, our government must speak up as a matter of urgency, and we feel it likely that if Ireland expresses her condemnation of the situation, other countries will follow suit”, concluded Luke-Peter.