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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First welcomes international cooperation to sanction Chinese officials responsible for abuse of Uyghurs
March 22, 2021

Human Rights First welcomes international cooperation to sanction Chinese officials responsible for abuse of Uyghurs

WASHINGTON – Scott Johnston, associate attorney for human rights accountability at Human Rights First responded to news that the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have sanctioned individuals in China alleged to be involved with the mistreatment of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim groups in the Xinjiang region 

“Today’s sanctions mark important milestones both for international Global Magnitsky-type sanctions and for the world’s response to China’s systematic policies of oppression against the Uyghur people,” said Johnston. “It is notable and fitting that the first time the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the E.U. have all worked in concert to use these human rights-focused sanctions programs, they did so to address China’s abuse of two million people in Xinjiang. A successful long-term future for targeted human rights sanctions depends on the kind of multilateral coordination that we saw today.”    

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today sanctioned two Chinese government officials under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act: Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, director of Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.  Equivalent agencies in the Canadian, U.K., and E.U. governments filed sanctions against Wang and Chen as well as Zhu Hailun, former deputy Communist Party head in Xinjiang, Wang Mingshan, member of the Xinjiang’s Communist Party standing committee, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, all of whom the U.S. had previously sanctioned.   

Human Rights First supported previous U.S. sanctions and urged coordination this past summer with the U.K. and Canada to invoke sanctions on these Chinese officials.