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UN Human Rights Council 56: UK Statement for Universal Periodic Review Adoption on China

Thank you, Mr President,  

We regret that China has today rejected each and every one of the UK’s recommendations. In doing so, the Chinese government has failed to acknowledge its serious human rights violations, and again tried to claim that OHCHR’s authoritative Xinjiang assessment is – and I quote – “illegal and void”. It is neither.

So with a full 90 seconds today, the UK again urges China to end its persecution and arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Tibetans and to allow genuine freedom of religion or belief and cultural expression. We also call on China to stop restricting civil society and independent media, guarantee an impartial judiciary, and stop jailing and harassing human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.  

China must respect fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong and uphold the promises it made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. All countries have the right to implement national security laws, however these laws must be compliant with international law. 

We regret the manner in which the 2020 National Security Law was enacted, and consider it incompatible with international norms and laws and counter to China’s promises to Hong Kong. We call for its repeal and for the Hong Kong authorities to end the prosecution of all individuals under it, including Jimmy Lai.   

We look forward to reflecting on China’s progress at its next review.

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