UYGHUR leaders have honoured the SNP’s Westminster depute leader for her continued work on their cause.

The World Uyghur Congress has thanked Kirsten Oswald for her support in the face of the brutal persecution inflicted upon on the ethnic group in China’s Xinjiang region.

More than one million people are understood to have been detained in state-run camps in a move condemned as genocide by UK MPs earlier this year, angering Beijing. Legislatures in the US, Canada and Holland have taken similar action.

Hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women have fitted with contraceptive devices by the state, with camp internees subjected to torture, rape and food deprivation, according to investigations by human rights groups.

Five UK parliamentarians have been banned from entering China as a result of their criticisms of the abuses, while China has called the genocide designation an “unwarranted accusation” and “the most preposterous lie of the century, an outrageous insult and affront to the Chinese people, and a gross breach of international law and the basic norms governing international relations”.

Following her award, which was conferred in London, Oswald has renewed calls for cross-party action on behalf of the Uyghurs. Earlier this year, Boris Johnson and his Tory colleagues faced criticism for voting down an amendment to the Trade Bill that would have stopped trade deals with countries accused of committing genocide. Oswald said: “More must be done to help the Uyghur people in China who are being mistreated and oppressed.

“This is genocide and must be called out. Those in the World Uyghur Congress, alongside campaign groups such as Yet Again, are working hard to shine a light on the plight of the Uyghurs. The SNP will continue to work tirelessly to support the Uyghur people, keep the spotlight on their treatment, and press for more concrete action by the international community. It is vital that religious minorities are allowed to live in peace and harmony across the world and are not oppressed for their beliefs.”

Rahima Mahmut, UK project director of the World Uyghur Congress, commented: “The World Uyghur Congress London Office were so pleased to have Kirsten Oswald MP join us for our reception, and to be able to present her with a well-deserved award. Her support is crucial at this very difficult time for the Uyghur community, and I am so grateful for all the work she has done in and out of parliament to advocate for the rights of my people.”