Eight senior Chinese officials and organisations should face UK sanctions for their role in the repression, torture and abuse of Uyghur Muslims, according to a dossier backed by MPs and presented to Dominic Raab.
The dossier alleges they have been part of an extensive campaign of repression including forced sterilisations and abortions, forced labour and “torture and inhuman and degrading” treatment in internment camps.
The report, compiled by lawyers working for the human rights charity Redress and backed by 20 MPs or peers, names the eight and urges the Foreign Secretary to impose sanctions including a freeze on their assets and a travel ban.
Each of the people and organisations named in the report have already been placed under sanctions by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in connection with serious human rights abuses in Xinjiang since 2016. It followed a similar dossier to the US by Redress.
In a letter to Mr Raab, former minister Tim Loughton, backed by the MPs including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex-Cabinet minister David Davis, said sanctions would be a “firm and timely” response to the repressive measures used against Uyghurs and now being deployed in Tibet.
Among those named are Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party Secretary in Xinjiang, and Zhu Hailun, former Deputy Party Secretary, who have been in charge of Government surveillance and indoctrination programmes.
“Given their roles and their apparently intimate involvement in overseeing and driving the repression campaign, including setting the policies and procedures for the internment system, they must at a minimum have known about the sanctionable activities and thus bear a significant degree of responsibility for them,” said the Redress report.
It also identified the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a complex commercial and paramilitary entity that operates a system of prison labour that plays a significant role in Xinjiang’s cotton industry.
The Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB) is also alleged to have played a significant role in mass detention and surveillance of Uighurs and other minorities.
Mr Loughton, a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), said: “There is a pressing need to hold the perpetrators of these abuses to account for their actions.
“We ask that the government acts immediately to assess the conduct of the organisations and individuals named in this letter against the violations listed in the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020.
“If found in breach, the government sanctions should be issued comprehensively and without delay.”