23 March 2021
On Monday the EU approved sanctions against Chinese officials for their government's human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang and for its crackdown on free speech in Hong Kong.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs retaliated by blacklisting several European politicians for "harming China's sovereignty" - including our former co-chair and Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, and Belgian Green MP Samuel Cogolati.
As chairman of the China delegation of the European Parliament, Reinhard Bütikofer has been advocating for freedom of expression and human rights in China for several years. Meanwhile, Samuel Cogolati led a resolution in the Belgian legislature describing the situation in Xinjiang as "genocide."
European Greens co-chairs Evelyne Huytebroeck and Thomas Waitz comment:
"We stand in full solidarity with Reinhard Bütikofer, Samuel Cogolati, and all the other European representatives targeted by the Chinese government’s tit-for-tat sanctions.
"The retaliation against freely elected members of democratic parliaments is unacceptable and shows the deep disregard that the Chinese government has towards democracy and its most representative institutions.
"We - and all the European Greens - will continue to support the work of Reinhard and Samuel and to raise our voices against the oppression of minorities and restrictions of freedom, both in China and anywhere else they may occur."
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