The UK Parliament has decided to hold a debate on October 12 over the alleged atrocities against Uyghur Muslims perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A petition urging the British Parliament to impose sanctions on China for their alleged human rights violations has garnered more than 146,000 signatures and backed by 150 parliamentarians.
The debate has been scheduled as government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law that targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Earlier this week, as many as five British lawmakers separately urged the Parliament to bring new laws to sanction Chinese officials involved in the human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang. The parliamentarians debated over the reports of forced labour programmes and other human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, also co-chair of Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), advocated imposing travel bans and freezing the assets of Chinese officials responsible for rights abuse. IPAC member Tim Loughton called for reciprocal access to Tibet since Chinese officials enjoy broad access to the UK. The Conservative leader stressed the importance of sending a strong signal to China over human rights abuse.
“We need this law...to send out a very strong signal that you cannot abuse your own people in secret. We will call it out. The human rights abuses of this magnitude wherever they happen must be called out,” Loughton told the Parliament.
IPAC has been created to promote a coordinated response between democratic states to challenges posed by the present conduct and future ambitions of China. Another IPAC member Alistair Carmichael told the parliament that human rights are universal and if they don’t matter in Xinjiang then “they don't actually matter here either.” Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific, even called for a "fundamental reset" in UK-China relations.
Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific @SKinnock calls for a "fundamental reset" in UK-China relations and supports #IPAC calls for the broadening in scope of Magnitsky legislation to sanction government officials responsible for abuses in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. pic.twitter.com/llFVsJ3STg— Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (@ipacglobal) October 7, 2020
China has been facing increased international scrutiny over alleged human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province. According to the latest report by Noema magazine, published by a US-based think tank, China has intensified the surveillance through data policing. The data generated through the digital surveillance system and subsequent interrogation help them label Muslims as “untrustworthy”.
(With ANI inputs)