PM 'must impose sanctions' on China over Hong Kong

Published
image copyrightAFP
image captionBoris Johnson has criticised the anti-protest law imposed by Beijing last year

More than 100 MPs and peers have urged Boris Johnson to impose sanctions on Chinese officials who led a crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners.

Their letter to the prime minister also calls for more sanctions to be placed on those responsible for abusing the human rights of the Uighur minority.

The cross-party group includes shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy and former governor of Hong Kong Lord Patten.

The government has yet to impose any sanctions over the Hong Kong crackdown.

But Mr Johnson has criticised the anti-protest law imposed by Beijing last year, calling it a breach of the Sino-British Declaration, under which the UK handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997.

The legislation makes it easier to punish protesters and reduces the city's autonomy.

In January, 50 of Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy activists and politicians were arrested under its terms.

In their letter, the MPs and peers ask the prime minister to impose travel bans and asset freezes on the Chinese Communist Party officials responsible.

Such a move would also be in response to the sanctions placed on nine UK citizens - including five MPs - last month for spreading what China called "lies and disinformation".

Meanwhile, the MPs and peers are calling for sanctions to be extended to more officials responsible for human rights abuses against the Uighurs.

China has detained thousands of people in camps in the north-west region of Xinjiang, from where allegations of torture, forced labour and sexual abuse have emerged.

It has denied the allegations, claiming the camps are "re-education" facilities used to combat terrorism.

MPs will vote next week on a motion declaring genocide is taking place in Xinjiang.