London, Mar 22 (PTI) The UK government on Monday joined the European Union, Canada and the US to impose its first sanctions against Chinese government officials linked to human rights violations of China's Uyghur and other minorities in Xinjiang province.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the sanctions against what the government termed as 'perpetrators of gross human rights violations', as part of a move coordinated by the international community.
The UK will, for the first time, impose asset freezes and travel bans against four Chinese government officials, as well as a Xinjiang security body, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime for systemic violations against Uyghurs and other minorities.
'The evidence of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang cannot be ignored – including mass detention and surveillance, reports of torture and forced sterilisation,” Raab said.
'Working with our international partners we are imposing targeted sanctions to hold those responsible to account,' he said.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the measures come as part of intensive diplomacy by the UK, United States, Canada and European Union to deliver complementary action on Xinjiang.
It follows the trend of a growing number of countries holding China to account for its human rights record, with 39 countries signing a joint statement at the United Nations.
The FCDO noted that acting together sends the clearest possible signal that the international community is united in its condemnation of China's human rights violations in Xinjiang and the need for Beijing to end its discriminatory and oppressive practices in the region.
The sanctions target four senior officials and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps – a state-run organisation responsible for security and policing in areas administered by the XPCC (Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps).
The sanctioned officials are Zhu Hailun, former Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR); Wang Junzheng, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of XUAR and also its former Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee; Wang Mingshan, Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and former Director of the Public Security Department of XUAR; and Chen Mingguo, Vice Chairman of the Government of the XUAR and Director of the XUAR Public Security Department. PTI AK SCY SCY