The British government today expressed its full support for the British MPs and others who have been sanctioned by China for speaking out on behalf of Uighur Muslims.
“The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today have played a major role in bringing to the world’s attention the serious human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims,” tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Speaking out against human rights abuses is a fundamental freedom and I strongly support them.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it had sanctioned nine people and four organizations for “maliciously spreading lies and false information,” banning them and their immediate families from entering China (including Hong Kong and Macau), freezing their assets in China, and prohibiting Chinese citizens and organizations from trading with them with immediate effect.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on China to allow a U.N. visit to Xinjiang if it wants to “credibly refute allegations of human rights abuses.
“We condemn China’s attempts to silence those highlighting human rights abuses at Home and abroad, including British MPs and peers,” he tweeted.
“While the UK joins the international community in sanctioning human rights abuses, the Chinese government is sanctioning those who criticize it.”
British Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said “we strongly disagree” with Beijing‘s sanctions statement. A British law firm has also been targeted for sanctions because of its handling of cases related to the human rights of the Uighur people.
Nine people and four organizations, including former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, were sanctioned by China because they have been vocal about getting human rights issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong on the parliamentary agenda.