Lithuanian MP Dovilė Šakalienė is among 10 EU politicians and public figures blacklisted by China in retaliation for Brussels' sanctions over human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.
“The individuals concerned and their families are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China,” a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is quoted by Reuters. “They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”
The blacklist includes five members of the European Parliament, three members of national parliaments and two scholars.
The EU had earlier accused Chinese officials of mass detentions of Muslim Uighurs and human rights abuses in Xinjiang and imposed sanctions.
Šakalienė is a social democratic member of the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, and sits on the National Security and Defence Committee. She is also one of the 40 co-chairs of the Interparliamentary Alliance on China.
“Paradoxically, the country of billion people chooses to intimidate a citizen of a small country instead of stopping its illegal policies of imprisoning and torturing a million of its own citizens,” Šakalienė told BNS. “And yet such a quick reaction from the Chinese communist party to the sanctions announced today by the EU on top Chinese officials directly linked to massive systemic crimes against humanity shows that our principled position makes an impact on China.”
In addition to the 10 individuals, Beijing has also sanctioned four European entities: the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union; the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament; the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Germany, and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation in Denmark.