Close ‘re-education camps’: protect Uyghurs from COVID-19


Writing to your MP is most effective when you make it personal. 

David Linden, MP for Glasgow East, shares how we can write to our MP in a way that gets their attention, and also the importance of being a good witness by writing with “love, grace and patience”.

Here are some pointers for what to include in a letter to your MP about those detained in Xinjiang, China.

(if you don’t know your MP’s name, find them here.

House of Commons


Start with something personal about how this issue matters to you, for example by relating how much you value your own religious freedom.

Overview of the camps:

  • Over one million people have been placed into camps in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China.
  • Those detained are predominantly Muslims from the Uyghur ethnic group. 
  • They have been targeted because of their ethnicity and religion, for reasons such as having a religious book in their home, gathering with others to worship, or having relatives abroad.

Specific concerns with the camps:

  • Uyghur families are torn apart, as parents are sent to the camps and children are taken away to state orphanages. 
  • One Uyghur worker reported children as young as six months ‘locked up like farm animals in a shed in state orphanages.’
  • Those detained in the camps can be held there indefinitely and have little to no contact with those outside.

The camps and coronavirus:

  • A recent report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Covid-19 states that the limited access to medical resources in the camps in Xinyang combined with the concentration of elderly detainees there could lead to a humanitarian disaster.

Ask your MP to:

  • Write a letter to the Foreign Secretary asking him to raise the situation of prisoners and detainees in China in all his interactions with his Chinese counterparts on the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Submit a written parliamentary question asking the Foreign Secretary what he will do to support those detained in Xinjiang.

End by thanking them for their support.

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