Uyghur woman interned at a Chinese 'brainwashing' camp.

REDRESS Urges UK to Follow Lead of Global Partners: Sanction Chinese Officials for Abuses in Xinjiang

As the European Union is expected to announce today sanctions against senior Chinese officials and entities linked to human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, REDRESS has written to the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, calling for urgent action from the UK government in imposing similar sanctions.

The anticipated sanctions from the EU will add to those already imposed by the United States, which sanctioned six Chinese individuals and two entities in July 2020 for abuses in Xinjiang.

As previously reported, REDRESS submitted a dossier of evidence in November 2020 to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, calling for UK sanctions designations for senior Chinese officials and entities linked to the grave violations in Xinjiang. The dossier contained extensive evidence from numerous credible authorities that have documented human rights violations against Uyghur and other minority populations in Xinjiang since late 2016. REDRESS’s submission was supported by more than 20 UK members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

REDRESS’s new letter to the Foreign Secretary, sent on 19 March, highlights the anticipated EU sanctions, and urges the UK to join its international allies in sanctioning Chinese officials. In recent days the UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has repeated calls for the imposition of UK human rights sanctions in response to abuses in Xinjiang.

Charlie Loudon, International Legal Adviser at REDRESS, said:

“By failing to sanction Chinese officials for abuses in Xinjiang, the UK risks being left behind its key international partners. The UK cannot turn its back on the Uyghur people, who continue to suffer the most appalling human rights violations. The UK must stand with the victims and with its international allies, and impose sanctions on those responsible for these atrocities.”

 For more information or to request an interview, please contact: Eva Sanchis, REDRESS Head of Communications, at [email protected] or +44 (0) 7857 110076.

Notes to editors:

1. REDRESS is an NGO that pursues legal claims on behalf of survivors of torture in the UK and around the world to obtain justice and reparation for the violation of their human rights.

2. The UK Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations give the UK Foreign Secretary the power to impose sanctions on individuals and entities who are responsible for human rights violations, or who facilitate, incite, promote, or support such violations. The regulations allow the UK to designate for sanction individuals and entities that are linked in other ways to involved persons, such as being a member of, controlled by, or associated with such persons. Designated individuals and entities are subject to travel bans and asset freezes. For more information on the UK’s Global Human Rights Sanctions programme, see REDRESS’s Briefing Note.

Photo credit: Uyghur woman interned at a secret ‘indoctrination’ camp in the western Xinjiang region (Courtesy of the BBC).