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Beijing sanctioned British entities and figures on Friday, accusing them of "spreading lies" about Uyghurs. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab denounced in return the pressure exerted by Beijing on "those who denounce human rights violations". </p><div> <p>The standoff between Beijing and London over the situation of Uyghurs in China continues. The United Kingdom "condemned", Friday, March 26, the sanctions taken by Beijing against several British personalities and entities, denouncing a desire to silence those who denounce human rights violations.
“We condemn China’s attempts to silence those who denounce human rights violations, at home and abroad,” Foreign Minister Dominic Raab tweeted.
We condemn China’s attempt to silence those highlighting human rights abuses, at home and abroad, including UK MPs and peers. My statement👇 https://t.co/exP4t3b72w
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) March 26, 2021
</div> <p>"The freedom to express opposition to abuses is fundamental and I strongly support them," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter, saying the British targeted were playing a "vital role" in speaking out "gross human rights abuses" against the Muslim Uyghur minority.</p> <div id="em-WBMZ74735-F24-FR-20210326" class="m-em-flash"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims.
Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 26, 2021
</div> <p>After the sanctions taken by the United Kingdom alongside the EU, the United States and Canada, Beijing on Friday sanctioned nine British personalities, including high-ranking parliamentarians, as well as four entities accused of "spreading lies" about human rights in Xinjiang.
“While the United Kingdom joins the international community in sanctioning human rights violations, the Chinese government sanctions its critics,” denounced the British foreign minister in a brief statement.
“If Beijing is to credibly refute human rights violations in Xinjiang, it should allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to verify the truth,” he added.
>> To read also: “Survivor of the Chinese Gulag”: a Uyghur survivor testifies
Among the entities targeted by Beijing are the Human Rights Commission of the Conservative Party (the formation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson), as well as the former leader of this party, Iain Duncan Smith, and the deputy Tom Tugendhat, who heads the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“It is our duty to denounce human rights violations”
“It is our duty to denounce the human rights violations by the Chinese government in Hong Kong and the genocide of the Uyghurs”, reacted on Twitter Iain Duncan Smith. “If this draws China’s wrath on me, I will wear this badge as an honor.”
It’s our duty to call out the Chinese Govt’s human rights abuse in #HongKong & the genocide of the #Uyghurs. Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice. If that brings the anger of China down on me, I’ll wear that badge of honour. pic.twitter.com/kLqgd6Krpy
– Iain Duncan Smith MP (@MPIainDS) March 26, 2021
</div> <p>"Britain is taking sanctions against individuals who violate the human rights of Chinese citizens. China sanctions individuals who defend the human rights of Chinese citizens. The contrast is clear," said Tom Tugendhat, also on Twitter.</p> <div id="em-WBMZ74723-F24-FR-20210326" class="m-em-flash"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Britain puts sanctions on individuals who violate the human rights of Chinese citizens.
China puts sanctions on individuals who defend the human rights of Chinese citizens.
The contrast is clear. https://t.co/2o8rlV9Tuo
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) March 26, 2021
</div> <p>"It is in my eyes a direct attack on British democracy and an attempt to silence those whom the British people have chosen to speak for them", then reacted Tom Tugendhat on the BBC.
Trigger a “chilling effect on businessmen in particular”
“As UK lawmakers it won’t affect us that much, but the purpose of ‘Chinese sanctions’ is to make others feel threatened, and to have a chilling effect on businessmen in particular. “, he added in a joint statement with Neil O’Brien, head of the China Research group, a parliamentary working group targeted by Chinese sanctions.
Sanctioned also by Beijing, the conservative deputy Nusrat Ghani judges, for her part, that this is a “red flag for all democratic countries”. “I know that I will not be intimidated”, these sanctions “make me even more determined to speak about Uyghurs”, she underlined.
According to foreign experts, more than a million Uyghurs are in detention in political re-education camps. Beijing denies and claims that these are vocational training centers intended to distance them from terrorism and separatism after attacks attributed to Uyghurs.
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