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      China’s Xinjiang governor cancels controversial UK visit

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      A Chinese governor accused of genocide has reportedly pulled out of an upcoming trip to the UK after MPs called for his arrest.

      The BBC quoted a Foreign Ministry (FCDO) spokesman as saying it was his understanding that Erkin Tuniyaz, the governor of the northwestern province of Xinjiang, had canceled his participation in planned face-to-face talks with FCDO officials in Britain.

      It came after a group of seven MPs, including former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, wrote to Attorney General Victoria Prentis asking her to “seriously consider” a request by an alleged torture victim to prosecute the governor while in office. . UNITED KINGDOM.

      The FCDO was widely condemned last week by lawmakers for entertaining the idea of ​​talks with the governor given China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, which includes accusations of forcibly sterilizing women and placing children in “industrialization camps.” concentration”.

      In 2021, MPs passed a non-binding Commons motion declaring that Uyghur Muslims and other minorities “suffer crimes against humanity and genocide” in Xinjiang.

      On Monday Sir Iain charged Tuniyaz with murder as he joined Uyghur activists outside the FCDO headquarters on King Charles Street to protest the planned visit.

      Sir Iain told the protesters: “We don’t meet with people who kill others. The government must be above that.

      Erkin Tuniyaz visits protest
      Sir Iain Duncan Smith and his Labor colleague Helena Kennedy attended the rally on Monday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

      “There is no negotiation until China stops what it is doing and restores the rights, privileges and freedoms for the Xinjiang people who are Uyghurs.”

      He added: “We are faced with the reality that there is a strong possibility that the government will end up somewhere else with officials meeting the man responsible for what we believe to be a genocide in Xinjiang. That is simply unacceptable.

      “It is unacceptable for the government to pretend that because a minister does not meet with him in some way it is not official. It is not.”

      Protesters stood outside the FCDO headquarters on King Charles Street in Westminster throughout Monday.

      There were speeches by activists and by Labor colleague Helena Kennedy, who co-chairs the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

      The activists waved banners reading “Freedom Uyghurs” and “China stop your genocide against Uyghurs” before delivering a protest letter to the FCDO.

      Last week, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, when asked why Tuniyaz had not been sanctioned, told reporters in a briefing: “I understand that the FCDO officials will meet with the Xinjiang Governor to make clear the UK’s abhorrence of the treatment of the Uyghur people and underline that we will not stop exposing the horrors to which they are being subjected.

      “We will continue to reiterate this message so that the Chinese authorities know that they cannot hide their abuses. We maintain diplomatic channels to be able to convey these messages and make our position clear.”


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