Parliament to debate sanctions on China after Uyghur petition
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Parliament to debate sanctions on China after Uyghur petition

More than 145,000 people called on the government to act in wake of harrowing reports that a million Muslims are detained in camps in Xinjiang

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

A man and his child holding a placard against China during the demonstration.
  (Photo by Ana Fernandez / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A man and his child holding a placard against China during the demonstration. (Photo by Ana Fernandez / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Parliament will debate imposing sanctions on China over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims, after a Jewish News campaign raised awareness of the minority’s plight.

More than 145,000 people called on the British government to act in wake of harrowing reports that a million Muslims are detained in camps in Xinjiang, northwest China. Rights groups have accused China of abuses including forced labour and sterilisation.

This comes after more than 150 parliamentarians backed Jewish News’ letter to  the government to consider sanctions, which will be delivered to Downing Street next week.

The petition was launched on 6 March, accusing China of “cultural genocide” against the minority Turkic ethnic group. It says “they are subject to mass detention, mass surveillance, restriction of religious and cultural identities, as well as other gross human rights abuses”, but that “nothing substantial or concrete has been done to resolve the crisis”.

Chinese authorities deny any mistreatment, saying detention camps offer vocational training, and are an anti-terrorism measure. Last week, its Embassy in London branded the JN campaign “deplorable” and full of “slander.”

Last week’s Jewish News front page

The government responded to the petition in July when it passed 100,000 signatures, saying it has “grave concerns about the gross human rights abuses being perpetrated in Xinjiang.”

But it is not appropriate to speculate about future sanctions designations, as this may reduce their impact.”

The debate is due to take place on 12 October.

 

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