Tim Loughton MP among UK citizens sanctioned by China
China has imposed sanctions on nine UK citizens including the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton.
It has accused them of spreading ‘lies and disinformation’ about human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Mr Loughton and the other individuals named – including four other MPs – have called for sanctions against China over the alleged mass rounding up of Uighur Muslims in the province.
China has denied allegations of abuse at camps in Xinjiang where Uighurs are being detained, claiming that they are ‘re-education’ facilities used to combat terrorism.
The sanctions mean that Mr Loughton and the other individuals will be banned from entering China, Hong Kong and Macau, their property in China will be frozen and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.
The move from China comes after the UK decision to take measures against four Chinese officials on Monday.
In a joint statement, Mr Loughton and the other four MPs said: “Today’s sanctions have unmasked the Chinese Communist Party.
“These actions are not only an attack on us as individuals but an attempt to stifle the free and open debate that is at the heart of our parliamentary democracy.
“Intimidation will only serve to encourage us to redouble our efforts.
“We will continue to advocate on behalf of the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and all other persecuted groups in China.
“These are the true victims of the Chinese Government’s authoritarian rule, not us.
“We call on the Government to reject these sanctions and unequivocally condemn attempts by the Chinese government to undermine our democratic processess.
“The Government must demand that the Chinese government allows the United Nations and other concerned institutions full and meaningful access to the Uyghur region, and opens the way for international investigations into the alleged abuses.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his support.
He said: “The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims.
“Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.”