Tue. May 28th, 2024

A Conservative MP says he was deported during a trip to Djibouti due to the east African country’s close ties to China.

Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said he was detained for more than seven hours and barred from entry to Djibouti earlier this month.

Mr Loughton, who had sanctions imposed on him in 2021 by Beijing, said the experience was “very lonely and frightening”.

China’s foreign office said the accusations were baseless.

Mr Loughton was in Djibouti for a 24-hour visit, which included a meeting with the British ambassador.

He said he was removed on the next available flight out of the country.

Mr Loughton: “This was another example of how the tentacles of the Chinese Communist Government extend far and wide, and their malign influence in sensitive parts of Africa is particularly worrying.

“Yet the intimidation of countless others who have dared to speak out against China’s industrial scale human rights abuses and who do not have the platform an MP raises serious concerns.”

Human rights
In 2021, China imposed sanctions on five MPs, including Mr Loughton, for spreading what it called “lies and disinformation” about the country.

It came in retaliation for measures taken by the UK government over human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority group.

The former minister and member of the home affairs select committee has said he will not stand at the next general election after more than 27 years in parliament.

By Joy

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