UK Ministers of Parliment banned from China after Uighurs abuse sanctions

The group are among the most vocal critics of China in the UK.

It comes in retaliation for measures taken by the UK government on Monday over human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority group. Boris Johnson said those sanctioned were “shining a light” on “gross human rights violations”.

Those targeted by China include former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, two peers, a lawyer, and an academic. Sir Iain said he would wear the sanctions “as a badge of honor”. The response by China follows similar sanctions imposed on the European Union, which was part of the coordinated action on Monday, along with the UK, the US, and Canada.

China has detained Uighurs at camps in the north-west region of Xinjiang, where allegations of torture, forced labor, and sexual abuse have emerged. It has denied the allegations of abuse, claiming the camps are “re-education” facilities used to combat terrorism. They will all be banned from entering China, Hong Kong, and Macau, their property in China will be frozen and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the UK’s decision to impose sanctions “flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, and severely undermines China-UK relations”. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, later told a press briefing China was forced to act “in self-defense” in response to UK sanctions “based on lies”.


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