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Mass detention. Systematic surveillance. Widespread torture. Millions in forced labour camps. And the attempt to erase a people’s history and culture. These abuses are the product of one man, Chen Quanguo.
And worst of all, the world allowed him to carry them out twice.
We are demanding that the UK government hold Chen responsible for these widespread abuses. Chen’s name must be added to the global human rights sanctions regime list, to send a signal to Beijing that abuses against Tibetans and Uyghurs will not just be monitored, but also punished.
Chen Quanguo is not a name that many will recognise, but the consequences of his rule are instantly recognisable to those who have lived under his reign of terror. After Tibetans bravely rose up against the Chinese occupation in 2008, Chen was placed in charge and ordered to ensure that Tibetans never rose up again. Between 2011 and 2016, Tibetans saw their country locked down - security forces stationed on every street corner and hi-tech surveillance systems introduced.
Chen was rewarded by being installed as Party Secretary of the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and urged to import the methods he had inflicted on Tibetans. The land known to Uyghurs as East Turkestan is now synonymous with the incarceration of at least a million Uyghurs and Kazakhs and a relentless assault on any expression of their Muslim faith. Recent evidence has been unearthed of the use of forced labour.
The USA has already imposed sanctions on Chen, and it is time for the UK to follow suit. This will set a precedent that other countries can and must follow. Whether you are in the UK or elsewhere in the world, we urge you to sign this petition.