Dominic Raab does not rule out boycott of Winter Olympics against Uyghur Muslims

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Media legendDominic Raab “considers further action” against Uyghur Muslims

Dominic Raab did not rule out boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics because of the treatment of Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government.

The foreign minister said it was his “instinct to separate sport from diplomacy and politics”, but that “there comes a time when that might not be possible”.

He said there had been “gross human rights violations” against the group.

China has faced mounting accusations for its treatment of Uyghurs.

The government is believed to have detained up to one million people in “re-education camps” in the Xinjiang region.

There are also allegations that he carried out forced sterilizations of Uyghur women.

In July, Raab accused China of “gross” human rights violations against the people and said he would not rule out sanctions against the country.

But Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said the accusations were baseless and Uyghurs “enjoy peaceful and harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups.”

Mr Raab was appearing at the special committee on foreign affairs and was asked what the UK is doing to tackle the persecution of Uyghur Muslims.

He said: “In the UK our concerns can only grow about the news about what is going on in Xinjinag and we would like to work closely with our international partners to deliver the most powerful message, whether to the UN… or if it is by applying sanctions.

“We need to look at what action to take. Concerns about what is happening to Uyghurs, detention, mistreatment, forced sterilization, is something we cannot shy away from. ”

Foreign Minister says UK must ‘call them’ [and] hold China accountable, ”adding,“ We ​​must make the point to China, as a country that rightly hopes to be treated as a leading member of the international community, that this is at odds with the responsibilities that come with it . a prominent member of the international community. ”

‘Other measures’

Asked by fellow Conservative MP Alicia Kearns if the boycott of the 2022 Winter Games would send a strong message, Mr Raab said: “Generally speaking, my instinct is to separate sport from diplomacy and politics. , but there comes a time when that may not be possible.

“I would say, let’s gather the evidence, work with international partners, let’s take a look at this in more detail in the cycle with other steps we need to take. ”

The chairman of the committee, Tory Tom Tugenhadt, also asked Mr Raab if he would encourage the Duke of Cambridge to participate on behalf of the UK government.

The foreign minister said the decision would be “part of a wider process” and would be considered “very closely and carefully”.

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