Brussels, March 22 : The European Union (EU) is sanctioning China for human rights abuses against the Uighur ethnic minority, an informed source from the 27-member bloc said on Monday.
The source told dpa news agency that the decision came following an agreement from the bloc’s Foreign Ministers.
The last time the EU imposed punitive measures on Beijing for human rights violations was after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
The names of the targets for measures like EU asset freezes or travel bans are due to be officially published shortly, the final step that implements sanctions, according to the source.
In the last few years, hundreds of Uighurs, Kazakhs and Huis have testified about being held in internment camps as part of what observers say is a government campaign to forcibly assimilate ethnic minorities.
According to the Chinese government, the camps, estimated to have held more than 1 million people since 2017, are “vocational education centres” to eradicate extremism and terrorism.
Also on Monday, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the Eu is set to sanction 11 individuals involved in the Myanmar military coup, as well as for the repression of the demonstrators in the country.
The EU Foreign Ministers are holding a meeting here during which they are also likely to sanction several individuals and entities from North Korea, Russia, Libya, Eritrea and South Sudan on the basis of that instrument.
Aside from endorsing sanctions, the ministers are expected to discuss the politically sensitive issues of Turkey and Russia, attempting to hash out their strategic positions to both countries.