On December 10, World Human Rights Day, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions on 17 foreign government officials and their immediate family members accusing them of serious human rights violations. In addition to the big names from Russia, El Salvador and Jamaica, the sanctions list also included a police officer from Xiamen City, Fujian Province, who was involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
The statement specifically called out Huang Yuanxiong, director of the Wucun Police Station, Siming Branch of the Xiamen Public Security Bureau in Fujian province, accusing him of detaining, torturing and interrogating Falun Gong practitioners and seriously infringing on their religious freedom. It stressed that the world will not disregard the Chinese government’s violations of the internationally recognized freedoms of thought, conscience, and religious belief and the systematic suppression of human rights. Teng Biao is a Chinese lawyer who has defended Falun Gong practitioners in China and is currently residing in the U.S. Teng called the sanction significant because this is the first time that the U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese officials who participated in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Teng said that Falun Gong (practitioners) have been persecuted for more than 20 years. It is a major human rights disaster which has not received enough attention in the world. Zhang Erping, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center said that he welcomes the U.S. taking the lead on this human right issue and hoped that the sanction will make the Chinese officials take a look at their own consciences and consider whether to side with justice or with the abusers.
This year the U.S. has unexpectedly launched a number of sanctions on China’s human rights abusers. In July and August, the U.S. imposed financial and visa sanctions against Chen Quanguo, the Xinjiang Party Secretary; Wang Mingshan, the Public Security Director of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong Chief Executive; and Xia Baolong, the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. Recently it imposed sanctions on 14 CCP members on the Chinese parliament’s standing committee. As of today, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on total of 30 Chinese and Hong Kong officials.
Source: Radio Free Asia, December 11, 2020