More than 100 UK lawmakers condemn China over Uighurs abuse

More than 100 UK lawmakers condemn China over Uighurs abuse
More than 100 British lawmakers signed a letter to the Chinese ambassador on Wednesday condemning what they described as “a systematic and calculated program of ethnic cleansing against the Uighur people” in China. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 09 September 2020

More than 100 UK lawmakers condemn China over Uighurs abuse

More than 100 UK lawmakers condemn China over Uighurs abuse
  • A letter referred to reports of forced population control and mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang
  • Chinese officials have repeatedly derided allegations of genocide, forced sterilization and the mass detention

LONDON: More than 100 British lawmakers signed a letter to the Chinese ambassador on Wednesday condemning what they described as “a systematic and calculated program of ethnic cleansing against the Uighur people” in China’s far western Xinjiang region.

“When the world is presented with such overwhelming evidence of gross human rights abuses, nobody can turn a blind eye,” said the cross-party letter, which was signed by 130 lawmakers.

“We as Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom write to express our absolute condemnation of this oppression and call for it to end immediately.”

The letter referred to reports of forced population control and mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, as well as video apparently showing a large number of blindfolded and shaven men waiting to be loaded onto trains.

The lawmakers said the video — which was recently shown to Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming during a BBC interview — bore “chilling” similarities to footage of Nazi concentration camps.

Chinese officials have repeatedly derided allegations of genocide, forced sterilization and the mass detention of nearly 1 million Uighurs in Xinjiang as lies fabricated by anti-China forces.

They maintain that the Uighurs are treated equally and that the Chinese government always protects the legitimate rights of ethnic minorities.

Asked Wednesday about whether he would take action on the issue, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain raises such concerns “directly with the Chinese authorities and we’ll continue to do so in the G20, at the UN and in every other context.”


Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
Updated 17 January 2021

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
WASHINGTON: A heavily armed man has been arrested in Washington at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated next week, authorities said.
Wesley Allen Beeler, of Virginia, was taken into custody after police found him with a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, according to a police report obtained by AFP.
He had tried to pass through the checkpoint using fake inaugural credentials, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration, after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Five people died in the assault, including a police officer.
Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week.
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers.
The National Mall, which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations, has been declared off-limits at the request of the Secret Service, which ensures the security of the president.