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Xinjiang Uyghurs: UK to fine companies that do not disclose imports related to China



On Tuesday, the British Foreign Secretary Dominique Raab announced the new measures, which, according to the Foreign Ministry, are designed to ensure that all British organizations “are not complicit and do not benefit from human rights violations in Xinjiang.”

The UK government will also review which British products can be exported to Xinjiang and issue new guidelines “exposing the specific risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang … highlighting the challenges of effective due diligence”.

The US State Department estimates that up to two million Uighurs, as well as members of other Muslim minority groups, have been detained in a sprawling network of internment camps in Xinjiang.

Beijing has long defended the repression in Xinjiang needed to tackle extremism and terrorism, and says its facilities are voluntary “training centers”

; where people learn professional skills, Chinese language and law.

“Evidence of the scale and severity of human rights violations committed in Xinjiang against Uighur Muslims is now far away,” Raab told lawmakers. He said the new measures were aimed at “sending a clear message that these human rights violations are unacceptable and protecting UK businesses and public authorities from any involvement or connection with them”.

Raab also called on the UN to have access to the Xinjiang region to investigate allegations of forced labor and other human rights abuses.

Washington has taken its own steps to restrict imports from Xinjiang. Last month, the Trump administration announced it would block cotton imports from there, the latest restriction on the region.

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