EU, US, CANADA, AND UK IMPOSE COORDINATED SANCTIONS ON TOP CHINESE OFFICIALS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION AGAINST UYGHURS AND OTHER MUSLIM ETHNIC MINORITIES
The European Union, US, Canada, and the UK have imposed sanctions on top Chinese officials for their role in human rights violations against the Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes on top officials including Zhu Hailun, the former deputy party secretary in Xinjiang, Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB).
More than 1 million Uyghurs and members of Turkic minorities were detained in Chinese camps, according to United Nation estimates but a U.S state department official says the number could be higher than 2 million.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, the foreign ministers of Canada and the UK alongside the US Secretary of State called on China to end its repressive practices against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, and to release those arbitrarily detained.
Reacting to the EU sanctions, China's Foreign Ministry said the allegations are "based on lies and disinformation" adding that West's actions "harms China's sovereignty."
Beijing also retaliated by imposing a travel ban on 8 European politicians and 2 scholars from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Sweden.
Below are excerpts from the joint statement issued by Canada, UK, and the US:
Foreign Ministers of Canada and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State statement on their ongoing concern regarding China’s human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang:
We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State, are united in our deep and ongoing concern regarding China’s human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. The evidence, including from the Chinese Government’s own documents, satellite imagery, and eyewitness testimony is overwhelming. China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labour, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilisations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage.
Today, we have taken coordinated action on measures, in parallel to measures by the European Union, that send a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. We are united in calling for China to end its repressive practices against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, and to release those arbitrarily detained.
We underline the importance of transparency and accountability and call on China to grant the international community, including independent investigators from the United Nations, journalists, and foreign diplomats, unhindered access to Xinjiang.
We will continue to stand together to shine a spotlight on China’s human rights violations. We stand united and call for justice for those suffering in Xinjiang.