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UK to call for UN probe of Uighur camps in China’s Xinjiang province

The UK international secretary needs UN investigators to be given pressing entry to Uighur camps in Xinjiang as he warned that human rights abuses in the Chinese province are going down on an “industrial scale”.

Dominic Raab will use an tackle to the UN human rights council on Monday to urge fellow members to tackle rights violations in China, Myanmar, Belarus and Russia, with specific emphasis on initiating an impartial investigation by the UN excessive commissioner for human rights into pressured labour camps run by Beijing.

“The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale,” the international secretary will say. “The reported abuses — which include torture, forced labour and forced sterilisation of women — are extreme and they are extensive. They are taking place on an industrial scale.”

The UK has taken an more and more sturdy stance in opposition to Beijing over the previous 12 months following the imposition of a nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong, and mounting proof that the remedy of Uighur Muslims quantities to genocide. So way over 1m Uighurs have been detained, and lots of despatched to factories the place they’re pressured to work in electronics, textile and automotive provide chains.

However, Raab has come underneath sustained strain from insurgent Conservative MPs to go additional in his criticism of Beijing. Last month Downing Street narrowly averted defeat in a vote in search of to block a possible post-Brexit commerce cope with China over its human rights report. While the international secretary has promised new measures to forestall UK corporations utilizing pressured labour from Xinjiang in their provide chains and a evaluate of export controls to the province, he has stopped quick of imposing sanctions on particular person Chinese officers deemed accountable for rights abuses. 

His tackle to the UN human rights council comes after Joe Biden, the US president, introduced that Washington would rejoin the council as an observer, overturning Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 47-member group in 2018. At the identical time, the British authorities is in search of to reaffirm its credentials as a pressure in world diplomacy and safety post-Brexit. 

Speaking on the Munich safety convention on Friday, Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, formally introduced that the Cold War safety alliance of Britain, France, Germany and the US would re-form as a transatlantic “Quad” to tackle issues posed by hostile states resembling Iran.

“The countries we call the ‘west’ are drawing together and combining their formidable strengths and expertise once again, immensely to everybody’s benefit,” Johnson informed the convention, including that there was a “new resolve” to act with unity and dedication over incidents such because the tried homicide of Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

Raab is due to confront Moscow over the remedy of Navalny in his speech on Monday, calling his current rearrest and sentence “truly dire” and saying it was “disgraceful” that he had been prosecuted on “arbitrary charges”. 

“His treatment and the violence inflicted on peaceful protesters can only further reinforce the world’s concerns that Russia is failing to meet its international obligations,” the international secretary will say.

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Updated on February 26, 2021 12:35 am

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