The council of the European Union has declared it will extend its global sanctions against officials and entities responsible for serious human rights abuses by one year, while emphasizing the importance of supporting human rights.
On Dec. 6, four days ahead of Human Rights Day, the council announced it would continue to penalize violators of human rights in various countries on its sanction list for another year until Dec. 8, 2022.
“Today’s decision confirms the EU’s commitment to denounce human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur, making use of all instruments, while reasserting that human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated,” the council emphasized in a statement.
“Just a few days ago, the Chinese leadership was under the illusion that the EU would allow the sanctions imposed in March 2021 to expire, thereby kowtowing to Beijing,” said Reinhard Bütikofer, chair of the European Parliament’s China Delegation and foreign policy coordinator of the Greens/EFA group. “Brussels has proven dictator Xi Jinping’s team wrong.”
He warned “Beijing must adjust to this reality” because the EU would draw clear lines “where necessary.”
The EU list renewed sanctions against Chen Mingguo, head of the local public security department; Zhu Hailun, former Party chief of the Xinjiang Gestapo-like agency Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC); Wang Mingshan, current Party chief of the PLAC; Wang Junzheng, Party chief of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC); and the Public Security Bureau of the XPCC.
In December 2020, the EU established the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, which allows the EU to target individuals or bodies responsible for, involved in, or associated with serious human rights violations worldwide. Punishments include travel bans for individuals and the freezing of funds applying to both individuals and entities.
Although China has repeatedly denied all allegations, there are signs that its human rights continue to worsen, including in Xinjiang.
The latest video evidence appeared online in October, recorded by a young mainland Chinese Youtuber calling himself Guanguan. He alone made an on-the-scene investigation by driving his vehicle near buildings in Xinjiang that were heavily guarded with barbed wire and suspected to be concentration camps, some of which were blanked out in China’s maps available, according to him.
He also noted he had got clues from BuzzFeed News, which held that the locations of Xinjiang indoctrination camps could be determined by comparing satellite imagery.