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(Wu Yingjie, TAR Party Secretary from 2016-2021. Source: REUTERS/Martin Pollard)

U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office Sanctions Two Chinese Officials for Serious Human Rights Abuse in Tibet

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) marked International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9) and Human Rights Day (December 10) by sanctioning over 40 individuals and entities connected to corruption or human rights abuse across nine countries including two Chinese officials who held senior leadership positions in Tibet.

OFAC sanctioned Wu Yingjie (Wu), who was the TAR Party Secretary between 2016 and 2021, and Zhang Hongbo (Zhang), who has been the director of the Tibetan Public Security Bureau (TPSB) since 2018 through at least November 2022, as two individuals “involved in serious human rights abuse in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and carrying out a policy that has subjected Tibetans “to serious human rights abuse in the TAR, including arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings, and physical abuse, as part of the PRC’s efforts to severely restrict religious freedoms.”

The charges under Wu states “Wu directed government officials to engage in “stability policies.” The implementation of these stability policies involved serious human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, physical abuse, arbitrary arrests, and mass detentions in the TAR. Additional abuses during Wu’s tenure include forced sterilization, coerced abortion, restrictions on religious and political freedoms, and the torture of prisoners.”

Zhang has been identified as working “to advance the PRC’s goals and policies in the TAR as “Tibet’s police chief.” During Zhang’s tenure, the TPSB engaged in serious human rights abuse, including at TPSB-run detention centers that were involved in the torture, physical abuse, and killings of prisoners, which included those arrested on religious and political grounds. Additional abuses perpetrated by security forces in Tibet include arbitrary arrests, persecution of religious and political freedoms, and mass detentions in the TAR.”

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Also, Zhang and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

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