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Britain criticises China over Xinjiang and Hong Kong

FILE PHOTO: Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon and Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office addresses the United Nations Security Council on "mediation and its role in conflict", during an open debate on maintenance of international peace and security at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Friday criticised China for human rights violations in Xinjiang region, calling for the United Nations to be given unfettered access to the area.

In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council, junior Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad also criticised China’s imposition of national security laws on Hong Kong.

“We call on China to uphold the rights and freedoms in the Joint Declaration, to respect the independence of the Hong Kong judiciary, allow unfettered access to Xinjiang and to release all those who are arbitrarily detained,” he said, according to a copy of his address released by the Foreign Office.

Reporting by Alistair Smout, writing by William James; editing by Michael Holden