“Boycott Olympics, put diplomatic pressure”: UK lawmakers want action against China over Uighurs

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Tom Tugendhat of the Conservative party conducted several month-long inquiries and concluded in the report that any civilized government could not ignore the “atrocities” being conducted against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. 

Calling China’s actions In Xinjiang “an international crisis of profound urgency”, a group of British lawmakers has urged the UK’s Boris Johnson led government to take stricter action against China for its alleged human rights violations against the Uighur Muslims. The call was made in a report prepared by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The report asked for strict action to be taken against China through a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and a ban on the cotton trade with Xinjiang.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Tom Tugendhat of the Conservative party conducted several month-long inquiries and concluded in the report that any civilised government could not ignore the “atrocities” being conducted against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.

Many human rights organizations have alleged that China has detained over a million Uighurs in ‘concentration camps’ and that the authorities are using forced labour and conducting forced sterilization of women in the region. The allegations have been denied by the Chinese government which calls its actions in Xinjiang steps against ‘extremism’.

The committee asked the government to use diplomatic measures to force China to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to enter Xinjiang. It also wants a partial boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, with ministers and tourists staying away from the event and British companies not sponsoring the Olympics. However, UK PM Boris Johnson indicated on Wednesday that he was opposed to sporting boycotts.

The lawmakers have demanded that the UK works with Western allies to provide a quick asylum process for the victims of Chinese atrocities. The report has also called for a ban on the import of cotton products from Xinjiang, which is said to be produced using forced labour.

Harsh actions have already been taken against Xinjiang products in the United States with the US government last week placing restrictions on imports from 5 Chinese companies alleged to be using forced labour.

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