Helena Kennedy Centre Statement on Chinese Sanction of UK Human Rights Researchers and Advocates
On March 26th, the Chinese government imposed unilateral sanctions against nine citizens of the UK, including members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, the China Research Group, the Uyghur Tribunal, and a Chinese studies scholar, Dr. Jo Smith Finley of Newcastle University. Among those sanctioned was our University Chancellor, Baroness Helena Kennedy, who has advocated for Uyghur rights in the UK and abroad.
The Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University unequivocally supports Baroness Helena Kennedy and the researchers named in these sanctions and similar sanctions against EU citizens on March 22nd. We commend all those who have contributed to our knowledge of the rights violations against the Uyghurs and other communities in China.
The Helena Kennedy Centre condemns the deployment of government sanctions on researchers as an attack on free inquiry and a renunciation of human rights accountability. Scholarship is a fundamental tool for exposing rights violations and advocating for justice globally. We express our solidarity with all scholars around the world who have been threatened, harmed, or persecuted by governments that seek to suppress the truths that rigorous human rights scholarship reveals.