Statement from Free Tibet on the latest UK human rights sanctions - where is Chen Quanguo?

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Free Tibet is disappointed to learn that the United Kingdom government’s new round of targeted human rights sanctions does not include senior Chinese official Chen Quanguo, who is responsible for wide-ranging and devastating atrocities in Tibet and the Uyghur region.

Today, Human Rights Day, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced that asset freezes and travel bans have been placed on 11 individuals who it has found to be responsible for torture and murder, from the Gambia, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela.

This is the third round of sanctions imposed by the FCDO since introducing its new sanctions regime this summer, but Chen Quanguo remains conspicuous by his absence given the sheer scale and breadth of his crimes. During his time in charge of Tibet and now the Uyghur region, Chen’s crimes include mass arbitrary arrests, torture, the incarceration of millions of Uyghurs, attempts to eradicate the Tibetan and Uyghur cultures and even evidence of forced sterilisation and forced labour.

Since Free Tibet and the World Uyghur Congress launched our call for the government to ban Chen from the UK, over 4,000 people have added their support in less than a month. The Tibetan and Uyghur communities have also been vocal in their support for targeted sanctions on this official who has brought so much misery to both peoples.

If the UK wishes to follow up on its commitment to being a “force for good” and “standing up for victims of human rights violations and abuses around the world”, it must find the nerve to stand up to China and take the same decisive action against Chen. It must urgently place a travel ban on him, and send a signal that the UK will not only speak out against human rights atrocities, it will also punish them.



Contact For further information:

John Jones, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager, Free Tibet, UK  +44 (0)7591 188383 |


Notes for Editors

In November, Free Tibet, in partnership with the World Uyghur Congress and Tibetan Community in Britain launched a new campaign, Ban Chen, calling on the UK government to impose targeted sanctions on the official. The action, and further explanation, can be found here: