The following media statement was published by Australian Federation of Islamic Councils on 16 October 2020.
AFIC president Dr. Rateb, Jneid along with ICWA president Br. Abdul Rahman Yahaya and ICWA Vice President Br. Zouber Sayed met with Mr. Andrew Hastie MP, Chair of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to laud his support for the oppressed Uyghur of East Turkistan.
East Turkistan was annexed by China in 1949 after its leaders “died” in a suspicious plane crash whilst on route to negotiations with Chinese leaders. The indigenous Uyghur of East Turkistan have since suffered immense persecution at the hands of Chinese authorities culminating in reports of mass incarceration in concentration camps, rapes, disappearances, cultural and religious repression, torture, organ harvesting, destruction of places of worship, forced labour and killings.
“Australians from all backgrounds condemn the persecution happening to the Uyghur people,” Mr Hastie said. “Anyone who cherishes the dignity of human life—as Dr Jneid and I both do—is deeply troubled by what is happening to them. I will continue to speak up for the Uyghur people.
“I thank AFIC President Dr Jneid and his colleagues President Yahaya and Vice President Sayed for meeting with me to discuss this important issue.”
“Mr. Hastie has publicly raised the issue of human rights in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on several occasions, it is important for AFIC to show Mr. Hastie support particularly as China has applied pressure on him for criticising its flagrant human rights abuses.” Said AFIC president Dr. Rateb Jneid.
AFIC encourages all Australians to stand with and support Mr. Hastie and to call on other political representatives to do the same.
“Our meeting with Mr. Hastie was very productive, it is time more of our fellow Australians become aware of human rights abuses by the Chinese authorities in East Turkistan.” Said Abdul Rahman Yahaya, president of ICWA.
“Mr. Hastie is a champion of a proud Australian tradition of calling out the bully,” said Br. Zouber Sayed, VP of ICWA.