A group of British lawmakers has called on UK authorities to hold China accountable for its human rights violations against Uighur Muslims in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.
The MPs’ recommendations were based on a Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report following a months-long inquiry.
The report said that the “atrocities” being committed in Xinjiang “represent an international crisis of profound urgency, making it unconscionable for any civilized government to look the other way”.
Based on the findings, the MPs urged the government to use every diplomatic lever to pressure Beijing to allow international observers – in particular the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – access to Xinjiang.
The MPs also urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson “should recognize” the decision of British lawmakers in April to declare Beijing’s policies against the Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim and ethnic Turkic minorities in northwest China as genocide and crimes against humanity, and to hold the Chinese government “to account.”
“As the Communist Party celebrates its one hundredth anniversary, it’s worth remembering that China has been a great civilization for more than five thousand years,” he said. “These crimes against the Uighur people stand out as a black moment in a golden history.”
“It’s time for big boy politics,” said MP Alicia Kearns. “We are the mother of all parliaments. If we are not willing to speak up for those who others seek to silence, then what parliament’s going to do it?”
Beijing has been accused of committing genocide in Xinjiang.
Rights groups believe at least one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been detained in camps in Xinjiang, where China is also accused of forcibly sterilizing women and imposing forced labour.
More than 570,000 people are estimated to have been obliged to pick cotton in the Xinjiang region.