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People protest China's human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province on April 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A group of more than 200 Jewish organizations, rabbis and synagogues have sent a letter to President Biden and top U.S. officials urging them to do more to oppose the Chinese government's genocide of ethnic Uyghurs, according to a copy of the letter viewed by Axios.

What they're saying: "The horror stories we are hearing of Uyghurs taken in the night, separated from their families, and put on trains to forced labor camps are all too familiar to the Jewish community," the letter's signatories state.

  • "We therefore urge you and your administration to take the concrete steps recommended by a coalition of leading human rights organizations (such as countering Chinese government propaganda and strengthening sanctions) and to increase the number of Uyghurs admitted to the U.S. as refugees."

Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., which led the effort, has a committee dedicated to raising awareness about the Uyghur genocide, and it regularly holds protests outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

  • "What we’re looking for are very strong sanctions," Rabbi Aaron Alexander of Adas Israel said in an interview with Axios.
  • "We want the United States to lead the way in creating the kind of brute force condemnation and excision from the world community until it stops."

Go deeper: Holocaust Museum report warns China "may be committing genocide"

Go deeper

Nov 16, 2021 - World

Olympics sponsors caught between U.S. and China

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Companies that do business in China — especially Olympics sponsors — are concerned Beijing will use the 2022 Winter Games as a loyalty test.

Why it matters: China's leaders have become adept at silencing criticism from U.S. companies that might otherwise condemn the country's human rights record — and the Chinese government has been able to host prestigious global events like the Olympics while committing rights violations with impunity.

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - World

HRW criticizes Biden over "mixed signals" on human rights

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Human Rights Watch criticized President Biden and other leaders of democratic nations for sending "mixed signals" on human rights in its annual World Report published on Thursday, saying they "are not meeting the challenges before them."

Why it matters: Though Biden pledged to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy, HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth wrote that weapon sales to repressive governments and public reticence on certain human rights violations place those promises in question.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.