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To: MPs

Open Letter - Let's show compassion to the Uyghur Community

Dear Minister of Parliament,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Uyghur community in Aotearoa New Zealand, and as a coalition of organisations and individuals concerned about the actions of the state of the People's Republic of China towards the Uyghur people and other ethnic minorities living in China. As you can imagine, the small Uyghur community of Aotearoa New Zealand holds deep concerns for their family members back home affected by the actions of the Chinese government.

Members of the Uyghur community here who also fear for their safety, and therefore prefer to remain anonymous, want you to hear the following pleas:

“The New Zealand Government has condemned China multiple times on different stages including at the UN Forum. We appreciate the Government for speaking out against human rights violations against Uyghur people. But it is time to put the words into action and help the Uyghur community abroad who escaped China from persecution but living in limbo. Thousands of Uyghurs need urgent help in several countries, facing a lot of uncertainty including risk of being deported back to China. We request New Zealand Government to accept Uyghur Refugees as part of Refugee Quota Programme so that they can safely settle here and build their future without fear of being persecuted.”

"Being a small community, we would welcome more Uyghurs calling New Zealand home. We are committed to being contributing members of New Zealand society and many of us have been successful in our careers here. However, we often feel marginalised, ignored, and alone. Uyghur refugees cannot go back home as they are facing severe persecution, and are amongst the most vulnerable of diaspora groups. Bringing more Uyghurs to New Zealand will help some of the most persecuted of people find safety. It will strengthen and enrich our community and New Zealand alike."

"When I see a group of people doing family barbecue in a park with their relatives, I tell myself, one day. One day this will happen to me."

We are writing to ask that you consider working with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in carving a path through our Refugee Quota Programme so that members of Uyghur community here can reconnect with their families and those currently displaced overseas can find safety in New Zealand from persecution. We know this is possible, because it has been done before with the Rohingya. So we invite you, as you firm up your plans for the change you intend to make in the 53rd New Zealand Parliament, to consider this being part of the change you make.

As a coalition of concerned citizens we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

Yours sincerely,

Why is this important?

Uyghur Solidarity Aotearoa NZ and Khadija Leadership Network are inviting you to sign this open letter to our Members of Parliament to consider Uyghurs as refugees under our Refugee Quota Programme. As time passes, we are all becoming familiar with the inhumane treatment of Uyghurs in China with over a million people being detained in camps without cause and against their will.

As New Zealanders, we take pride in taking a global stance on issues of human rights, and our organisations are now inviting our decision-makers to consider how we could be doing more for the Uyghurs. Our government took a similar stance for asylum seekers detained in Australia. Considering the Uyghurs as part of our Refugee Quota Programme is a clear yet diplomatic way of showing China - and the international community - that we do not agree with these human rights abuses.

The letter will be sent to all of our MPs, and we hope it yields further conversations with them in making this aspiration possible with the support of your endorsement. A huge thanks in advance from us if you decide to sign and support this kaupapa.

New Zealand

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2021-03-18 19:45:00 +1300

1,000 signatures reached

2021-02-05 14:48:23 +1300

500 signatures reached

2021-02-04 18:46:05 +1300

100 signatures reached

2021-02-04 15:00:13 +1300

50 signatures reached

2021-02-04 13:41:53 +1300

25 signatures reached

2021-02-04 13:18:23 +1300

10 signatures reached