Uyghur genocide sanctions avoid the real culprit

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

For Immediate Release

Commenting on sanctions announced yesterday by the UK, US, Canadian and EU governments against four Chinese officials working to persecute the Uyghur people(1), Free Tibet said that they seem designed to deliberately miss the man who should have been the real target - Chen Quanguo, Party Secretary of the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Those sanctioned include Chen Quanguo’s direct deputy, Zhu Hailun,  and several other less senior officials, but conspicuously absent is Chen Quanguo himself. The other officials sanctioned are Wang Junzheng, the head of the Xinjiang production and construction corps, Wang Mingshan, a secretary to the Xinjiang autonomous region political committee and Chen Mingguo, the recently-appointed Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.   

Since November, Free Tibet has been campaigning for sanctions against Chen Quanguo (2), who is the architect of the atrocities against the Uyghur people. He was given this position after pioneering a surveillance state in Tibet. The measures Chen imposed as Party Secretary in Tibet have since seen it recognised as the least free place in the world(3).

Sam Walton, Chief Executive of Free Tibet, said:

“Between them, Chen Quanguo’s minions, Chen Mingguo, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Zhu Hailun are responsible for the security crackdowns, religious repression, indoctrination and surveillance that now loom over the Uyghur people and it is right that they have been sanctioned.

“However, by ignoring the ring-leader Chen Quanguo, Western governments are sending a message to the Chinese government that they are too scared to take action against anyone with real influence in the politburo. The failure of international governments to challenge Chen’s actions in Tibet saw him rewarded with his current role, where he has been able to reproduce the methods he used in Tibet on an even grander scale against the Uyghurs. Once again, the government has put trade above human rights.”



Free Tibet representatives are available for interview.

Press contact - Will Hoyles, Media Officer,, 07772 512519


About Free Tibet:

Free Tibet is a London-based organisation established to support the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom. Our vision is a free Tibet in which Tibetans are able to determine their own future and the human rights of all are respected.