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Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Alessia Pierdomenico/Shutterstock.com

China has sanctioned an entire set of barristers’ chambers and a leading barrister for spreading ”lies and disinformation” about alleged human rights abuses in its Xinjiang region. The sanctions, which are in retaliation for coordinated sanctions imposed on China by the U.K., U.S., Canada and the EU on Monday, underscore the risk of lawyers being caught in the crossfire between China and the West.

London-based Essex Court Chambers and Geoffrey Nice QC were among the nine U.K. individuals and four entities targeted by the sanctions, which were announced by China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday morning. Subjects of the sanctions include five members of Parliament, two House of Lords peers (including human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy QC), an academic, and several China-focused groups they lead.

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