Britain criticizes China, punishes Russians and Iranians for human rights

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Office for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development in London, Britain, November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By Andrew MacAskill and William James

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said the human rights situation in China worsened last year and announced sanctions on Friday against 30 people worldwide, including officials from Russia. , Iran and Myanmar, who they believe are responsible for human rights abuses or corruption.

France on Thursday announced plans to impose new European Union sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses in a security crackdown on widespread unrest there as well as the supply of goods. supplied drones to Russia before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

The UK government said its sanctions were coordinated with international partners to mark International Anti-Corruption Day and Global Human Rights Day. They include individuals engaged in activities including torturing prisoners and mobilizing the military to rape civilians.

Secretary of State James Cleverly said in a statement: “Today, our sanctions go the extra mile to expose those behind these egregious violations of our most fundamental rights.” .

Those targeted include Russian Colonel Ramil Rakhmatulovich Ibatullin as commander of the 90th Tank Division, which has been involved in combat since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government says there have been multiple charges against serving members of the 90th Tank Division, including the conviction in Ukraine of a senior lieutenant for sexual abuse during the conflict.

Russia, which claims to be conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine to eliminate threats to the country’s security, has denied committing war crimes or targeting civilians.

Britain also imposed sanctions on 10 Iranian officials linked to Iran’s prison system, including six linked to the Revolutionary Court in charge of prosecuting protesters with violent crimes. Sentencing includes the death penalty.

The nationwide protests following the death while in police custody of an Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, have posed one of the biggest challenges facing the Islamic Republic since its founding. in 1979.

Britain has also imposed sanctions on figures linked to the Myanmar military, who it says are involved in massacres, torture and rape.

Russia, Myanmar and Iran have previously denied allegations of atrocities as foreign interference based on falsehoods.

Their embassy in London did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Separately, Britain said in its annual review of global human rights and democracy that the human rights situation in China deteriorated last year with Uighur Muslims facing what the ministry said. Foreign Secretary called “terrible suppression”.

The government in China continues to pursue policies including outlawing the detention of Uighur Muslims in political re-education camps in the expanding prison network in the Xinjiang region. , the newspaper said.

The report says China is using advanced technologies, including mass surveillance and “predictive policy” algorithms, in ways that violate human rights in the region. Beijing strongly denies any abuse.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London said the British government’s claims were “baseless” and that China’s human rights were at “the best in history”.

“We once again call on the UK side to correct the application of double standards on human rights,” the spokesman said, adding that the British government should “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.” Country”.

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