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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 March 2021

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab to criticise China and Myanmar before UN

Speech to UN Human Rights Council will also focus on Russia and Belarus

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Reuters
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Reuters

Britain’s Foreign Secretary will launch an attack on China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, calling it “beyond the pale”.

In a speech to the UN’s Human Rights Council on Monday, Dominic Raab will call for business restrictions against supply chains using forced labour in Xinjiang, home to the Uighurs.

He also condemned the regime in Myanmar after security troops shot dead two protesters in Mandalay on Saturday during a demonstration against the recent military coup.

Mr Raab will condemn several countries for human rights breaches this year when he addresses fellow UN members just before noon on Monday, in a speech released by the Foreign Office.

“The situation in Xinjiang is beyond the pale,” he will say on China.

“The reported abuses … are extreme and they are extensive. They are taking place on an industrial scale.”

He called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other independent experts to be given “urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang”.

Mr Raab will say that the situation in Myanmar is deteriorating, particularly after the demonstrators’ deaths.

“That crisis presents an increased risk to the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities,” he will say. “The military must step aside.

"Civilian leaders must be released and the democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar must be respected.”

Britain will sponsor the resolution renewing the mandate of the special rapporteur on Myanmar.

Russia will also face criticism over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which Mr Raab calls “disgraceful”, particularly from a country that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“Mr Navalny’s treatment and the violence inflicted on peaceful protesters can only further reinforce the world’s concerns that Russia is failing to meet its international obligations,” he will say.

Mr Raab will condemn the “rigged” presidential elections in Belarus last year and the “brutal crackdown” on protesters.

Updated: February 22, 2021 02:30 AM

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