British Parliament Urges Government to Support Uighurs in China

London, MINA – British lawmakers on Thursday called on the government to take greater responsibility in ending China’s human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims.

In a report as quoted from Anadolu Agency, the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament issued several recommendations for the government to pressure Beijing to end human rights abuses in the Xinjiang autonomous region.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the committee and author of the report, urged the government to assert its position by putting more pressure on the Chinese government.

“The evidence of gross human rights violations and crimes against the Uighur people is overwhelming and irrefutable, and the British Parliament is calling it genocide,” Tugendhat said.

“The UK government should recognize Parliament’s decision, strengthen our response at home and urge our international partners to protect our own supply chains that are being used to profit from abuses.”

“China, Britain and others are key to building institutions to prevent a repeat of this outrage,” he added.

The Xinjiang region is home to about 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up about 45 percent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused Chinese authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been imprisoned in “re-education” camps, according to US officials and UN experts. The US and the European Union imposed sanctions on Chinese officials over this issue.

Beijing has denied claims of repression, accusing the West of using the Uighur issue as a tool to counter China’s growing influence.

The UK should seriously consider implementing a ban on the import of any product known to be manufactured in Xinjiang and should extend this to all industries, the British Foreign Affairs Committee report said.

The country also recommended a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing to prevent British businesses from sponsoring or advertising the games, while also preventing tourists and spectators from being present in the country.

Banning high-tech and Chinese surveillance companies from operating in the UK is another point the report calls for.

They allege that these companies provide surveillance equipment and technology to those operating concentration camps in Xinjiang that house up to one million Uighur Muslims.

Britain must exert “public and private diplomatic pressure” and build coalitions to “support Uighurs and other groups facing repression in Xinjiang,” the report said.

With its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, London should encourage international and independent observers to gain access to Xinjiang to investigate, they added.

The committee also called on the government to engage in dialogue with the International Criminal Court (ICC) about the possibility and feasibility of formal investigations into crimes committed against Uighurs, other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and elsewhere in China. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)