Friday 10th December 2021
Because of human rights violations
USA impose new sanctions on China and North Korea
On International Human Rights Day, the US is imposing sanctions on several countries. While China continues to abuse Uyghurs in prison camps, the “brutal suppression” of riots in Myanmar continues. The US now wants to “hold the culprits accountable”.
The US has imposed new sanctions on China and North Korea. The US Treasury Department announced that two leading politicians and a company were punished for human rights abuses in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. They are directed against the governor of the autonomous region, Erken Tuniyaz, and his predecessor, Shohrat Zakir, as well as the company Sensetime Group, whose facial recognition software is used by the police in Xinjiang.
In Xinjiang, more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities were arrested during the tenure of Zakir and Tuniyaz, the Ministry of Finance said. The aim of the Chinese authorities is to “create a police state in the Xinjiang region through arrests and data-controlled surveillance.” Zakir headed the autonomous region from 2018 to 2021 and was then replaced by Tuniyaz, who had been deputy governor since 2008.
According to human rights organizations, Uyghurs and other Muslims in detention camps in Xinjiang are being forced to give up their religion, culture and language, and in some cases are being physically abused. The Chinese government speaks of “educational centers” that serve to fight Islamist radicalization.
International Human Rights Day
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the US also issued sanctions against the North Korean animation film studio SEK as well as companies and individuals with connections to the company. The US accuses the animation studio, which was involved in Disney productions such as “Pocahontas” and “The Lion King”, of violating sanctions. North Korea’s Defense Minister Ri Yong Gil was also subject to US sanctions.
Further US punitive measures were directed against four regional government officials in Myanmar. They are accused of participating in the “brutal suppression” of protests in the Southeast Asian country following the coup in February.
The US State Department also announced sanctions against twelve government officials from China, Uganda, Belarus, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mexico. They were charged with “serious human rights violations”. “We are determined to put human rights at the center of our foreign policy,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The aim is to draw attention to human rights violations and to hold those responsible to account.