China slaps sanctions against Lithuanian MP Sakaliene

  • 2021-03-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday added Lithuanian MP Dovile Sakaliene to the list of sanctions.

Beijing imposed sanctions on 10 Europeans in response to the sanctions agreed by the European Union (EU) against Chinese officials over human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.

The list also includes several members of the European Parliament, members of the Belgian and Dutch parliaments, and scientists who have all been barred entry to China.

Sakaliene, a member of Social Democratic party and a co-chair of the Interparliamentary Alliance on China, told BNS that this action taken by Beijing proved that the principled stance of the EU had an effect on China.

“It is a paradox that a country with a population of [more than] billion chooses to intimidate a citizen of a tiny country instead of ending illegal detention and torture of a million of its citizens. And nonetheless, such a sudden response of the Chinese communist party to the sanctions, which have been announced today by the EU against high-ranking Chinese officials who are directly related to mass and systemic crimes against humanity, prove that our principled stance has an effect on China,” the Lithuanian MP said.

“The evidence collected shows that the Uyghur genocide in China will not stop without strong international reaction. My work in the Interparliamentary Alliance on China and criticism over human rights abuses are based on information from reliable international sources that is publicly available,” Sakaliene added.

EU officials have recently agreed to sanction four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.

Human rights advocates claim that at least 1 million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims are being detained in so-called ‘re-education camps’ in China’s north-western Xinjiang.

Observers say such facilities are part of a government campaign to forcibly assimilate ethnic minorities, sometimes using torture and forced labor. Mass rapes and the forced sterilization of women are also alleged to have taken place in the camps.