Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:53 pm on 29th July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Non-affiliated 5:53 pm, 29th July 2020

My Lords, I am delighted to support this statutory instrument. In the words of Bill Browder, this is a great milestone in the campaign for justice. I pay tribute to Bill Browder and the Magnitsky family who have been working together for 10 years, leading the international effort to establish Magnitsky style laws around the world. Now, in honour of Sergei Magnitsky, the UK has taken a significant first step towards dealing with the global corruption he exposed that cost him his life. I hope it is just a first step. We need co-ordinated action to accompany these sanctions if they are going to have an impact. They must be consistent with our wider foreign policy.

In welcoming this SI, I would like to ask the Minister three things. First, is it applicable to individuals from any country, not just on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office list of countries of concern? Secondly, will Government consider including as criteria the repression of democracy and the rights of assembly and freedom of speech?

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to add my voice to that of other noble Lords calling for action against Chinese officials over the persecution of the Uighur people. Does the Minister agree that the UK should sanction the Chinese officials responsible for this genocide and expand the list so that many more people in China who are responsible for perpetrating these abuses are indeed held responsible?