The Federal Foreign Office has called on China to withdraw the sanctions against EU parliamentarians and scientists. “The Chinese leadership should immediately withdraw its decision to sanction MPs like Reinhard Bütikofer, but also scientists,” said State Minister Niels Annen to the editorial network Germany (RND). He called Beijing’s decision “arbitrary” and “incomprehensible”.
The EU foreign ministers decided on the punitive measures against China on Monday. Four party and regional representatives as well as an organization from Xinjiang Province were placed on the sanctions list. These are the first EU sanctions against China for human rights abuses since the crackdown on the protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
“The EU has listed people in China who are responsible for serious human rights violations,” said Annen. “As a reaction to refusing entry to parliamentarians is an arbitrary and incomprehensible decision.”
According to human rights organizations, at least one million Uyghurs and other Muslims are imprisoned in hundreds of detention camps in Xinjiang. There they are reportedly forced to give up their religion, culture and language and in some cases also mistreated. Beijing rejects the allegations and speaks of training and work programs aimed at combating extremism in the region.