UK accuses China of ‘gross’ human rights abuses against Uighurs
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has accused China of “gross and egregious” human rights abuses against its Uighur population and said sanctions against those responsible cannot be ruled out.
Reports of forced sterilisation and wider persecution of the Muslim group were “reminiscent of something not seen for a long time”, he told the BBC.
The UK would work with its allies to take appropriate action, he insisted.
China’s UK ambassador said talk of concentration camps was “fake”.
Liu Xiaoming told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the Uighurs received the same treatment under the law as other ethnic groups in his country.
Shown drone footage that appears to show Uighurs being blindfolded and led to trains, and which has been authenticated by Australian security services, he said he “did not know” what the video was showing and “sometimes you have a transfer of prisoners, in any country”.
“There is no such concentration camps in Xinjiang,” he added. “There’s a lot of fake accusations against China.”
It is believed that up to a million Uighur people have been detained over the past few years in what the Chinese state defines as “re-education camps”.
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China previously denied the existence of the camps, before defending them as a necessary measure against terrorism, following separatist violence in the Xinjiang region.
The authorities have recently been accused of forcing women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices in an apparent attempt to limit the population, prompting calls for the UN to investigate.