Dominic Raab imposes sanctions on Chinese officials for Uighur Muslim human rights abuses

ITV News has shared the stories of Uighur Muslims forced to flee China with no knowledge of the fate of their loved ones. Credit: ITV News

The UK, US, Canada and the European Union have slapped sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for appalling human rights abuses of Uighurs Muslims in the country.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the abuse of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang was "one of the worst human rights crises of our time" and the international community "cannot simply look the other way".

The four senior Chinese officials, the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau (XPCC PSB) face travel bans and asset freezes from the UK.

ITV News has repeatedly reported on the plight of the Uighur population in China, documenting accounts of torture, forced abortion, and missing people.

Last year the US State Department told China to end its "campaign of repression" against Uighurs following an ITV News investigation.

On Monday, Mr Raab told the Commons: "State control in the region is systemic. Over a million people have been detained without trial, there are widespread claims of torture and rape in the camps, based on first-hand survivor testimony.

"People are detained for having too many children, for praying too much, for having a beard or wearing a headscarf, for having the wrong thoughts.

"I’m sure the whole House will join me in condemning such appalling violations of the most basic human rights."

The foreign secretary added: "It’s the largest mass detention of an ethnic or religious group since the Second World War and I believe one thing is clear – the international community cannot simply look the other way."

The foreign secretary told MPs: "State control in the region is systemic". Credit: PA

In a statement to MPs Mr Raab said: "I think it’s clear that by acting with our partners – 30 of us in total – we are sending the clearest message to the Chinese government, that the international community will not turn a blind eye to such serious and systematic violations of basic human rights and that we will act in concert to hold those responsible to account."