China announces ban on British politicians, organizations

The World
The British Embassy is shown in the distance through a closed metal gate with a Chinese paramilitary police officer standing guard.

A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard outside the British Embassy in Beijing, March 26, 2021.

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

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China on Friday imposed sanctions on several UK members of Parliament and British organizations. It's seen as a retaliation over the UK’s recent move to join the European Union in sanctioning Chinese officials allegedly involved in human rights abuses of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.

The sanctions, which ban the group from traveling to China and freeze their assets in the country, are largely symbolic and come after the US and Canada also levied sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang. China has called reasoning for the sanctions “lies and disinformation.” Several  Western countries have described the human rights abuses against Uyghurs as genocide.

The newly announced sanctions follow similar measures China imposed on the European Union and reflect China's increasingly tough diplomacy under nationalist leader Xi Jinping.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed released a statement Friday suggesting Eritrea has agreed to withdraw troops from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. The announcement comes as the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said it will work with the United Nations to investigate reports of killing and raping of civilians, among other human rights violations in Tigray. Ethiopia has come under pressure from Western governments for an alleged massacre in November last year that Human Rights Watch said included summary executions and the killing of children in the historic town of Axum.

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Listen: Public health experts push to end an unfair border policy

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When the pandemic first hit, the Trump administration used a policy called Title 42 to justify its tightening of the southern border. Plenty of critics including public health experts say the policy doesn't have a science-based approach. And India is now dealing with a surge in COVID-19 infections, this time with a new variant. Also, H&M faces calls for a boycott in China after the company spoke out about Uyghur human rights abuses and concerns over forced labor in the production of cotton in Xinjiang province.

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