Chinese security firm advertises ethnicity recognition technology while facing UK ban

Campaigners concerned that ‘same racist technology used to repress Uyghurs is being marketed in Britain’

A Chinese security camera company has been advertising ethnicity recognition features to British and other European customers, even while it faces a ban on UK operations over allegations of involvement in ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang.

In a brochure published on its website, Hikvision advertised a range of features that it said it could provide in collaboration with the UK startup FaiceTech.

Continue reading...
Covid lockdown protests break out in western China after deadly fire

Protesters in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, blame restrictions for death toll of 10 in apartment block fire

Protests have broken out in China’s far western Xinjiang region, with crowds shouting at hazmat-suited guards after a deadly fire triggered anger over their prolonged Covid-19 lockdown as nationwide infections set another record.

Crowds chanted “End the lockdown,” pumping their fists in the air as they walked down a street, according to videos circulated on Chinese social media on Friday night. Reuters verified the footage was published from the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi.

Continue reading...
Major funds exposed to companies allegedly engaged in Uyghur repression in China

Report finds stock indexes provided by MSCI include companies using forced labour or constructing surveillance state in Xinjiang

Many of the world’s largest asset managers and state pension funds are passively investing in companies that have allegedly engaged in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, according to a new report.

The report, by UK-based group Hong Kong Watch and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, found that three major stock indexes provided by MSCI include at least 13 companies that have allegedly used forced labour or been involved in the construction of the surveillance state in China’s Xinjiang region.

Continue reading...
Spyware targets Uyghurs by ‘masquerading’ as Android apps – report

Researchers say spyware is connected to a Chinese government-backed hacking group

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a spyware campaign that is targeting Uyghurs by “masquerading” as Android apps including messaging services, prayer time apps and dictionaries, according to a new report by the cloud security firm Lookout.

The spyware, which researchers say is connected to a Chinese government-backed hacking group, can be used to track people who use services that may be considered a “pre-crime” or are seen by China as indications that someone is engaging in or will engage in religious extremist or separatist activities. “Pre-crime” activities include using a virtual private network (VPN) or sharing any kind of religious content and can lead to being detained in a re-education camp.

Continue reading...
Failure to investigate UK imports linked to forced Uyghur labour unlawful, court told

World Uyghur Forum brings high court challenge against government agencies over Xinjiang cotton imports

UK government agencies have broken the law by not investigating the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced Uyghur labourers in China, the high court has heard.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is challenging the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), claiming a failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps, was unlawful.

Continue reading...
China using influencers to whitewash human rights abuses, report finds

Social media videos by people from the Uyghur community are part of a sophisticated propaganda campaign, thinktank says

The Chinese Communist party is using social media influencers from troubled regions like Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia to whitewash human rights abuses through an increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign, a report has claimed.

The report published on Thursday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), described the videos by “frontier influencers” as a growing part of Beijing’s “propaganda arsenal”.

Continue reading...
West weighs calling for China Uyghur abuses inquiry at UN

Battle over influence at Human Rights Council, with Beijing warning of ‘politicisation of human rights’

Western powers are weighing the risk of a potential defeat if they table a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council calling for an independent commission to investigate alleged human rights abuses by China in Xinjiang.

The issue is a litmus case for Chinese influence at the UN, as well as the willingness of the UN to endorse a worldview that protects individual rights from authoritarian states.

Continue reading...
‘Our people are still trapped’: Uyghur exiles demand action on abuses

Campaigners criticise failure of UN report to label China’s crackdown on Muslim minorities genocide

“I feel like my house is on fire, it’s burning down and my children, my family is trapped inside,” said Zumrat Dawut via video link. “I scream and scream for the world to come, and help me put out the fire, but at times I feel like no one is coming to our rescue.”

Last Wednesday, as Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, finished her term and released a long-awaited report on abuses in Xinjiang, Dawut was protesting alongside other Uyghur exiles in Washington DC.

Continue reading...
New Zealand’s shadow foreign affairs spokesperson faces criticism for response to UN report on Uyghurs

Gerry Brownlee says report on human rights violations in Xinjiang recognises China is ‘dealing with a terrorist problem’

New Zealand’s shadow foreign affairs spokesperson said a UN report on the human rights abuses of Uyghurs includes recognition that China is “dealing with a terrorist problem essentially”, in remarks criticised by China analysts.

“It’s good that it acknowledges that there has been a terrorism problem in the particular part of China that the report is on,” Gerry Brownlee, a lawmaker for the centre-right National party, told Radio New Zealand (RNZ) on Thursday in an interview about the UN findings.

Continue reading...
Lawyer criticises UN report’s failure to call Uyghur oppression ‘genocide’

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC says outgoing human rights chief’s report on China makes it easier for international community to do nothing

The UN’s failure to mention the word genocide in its report alleging serious human rights violations by China against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province is an “astonishing” lapse, according to a leading British human rights lawyer.

The 45-page report from the outgoing UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, landed minutes before her term ended on Wednesday, outlining allegations of torture, including forced medical procedures, as well as sexual violence against Uyghur Muslims.

Continue reading...
Five key points from the UN report on Xinjiang human rights abuses

Damning report cites human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in north-west Chinese province

China has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province that could amount to crimes against humanity, the outgoing UN human rights commissioner has said in a long-awaited and damning report.

Continue reading...
Rights groups call for inquiries into Uyghur abuses in China after damning UN report

Governments urged to launch formal investigations after UN findings on treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang

Governments around the world should establish formal independent investigations into human rights abuses in Xinjiang, victims and human rights groups have said, after the 11th-hour release of a long-awaited UN report.

The report by the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) was published minutes before Michelle Bachelet ended her tenure.

Continue reading...
China’s treatment of Uyghurs may be crime against humanity, says UN human rights chief

Michelle Bachelet issues report minutes before her term ends, detailing ‘credible’ reports of torture, forced sterilization and internment

The outgoing UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has said that China had committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province which may amount to crimes against humanity.

Bachelet’s damning report was published with only 11 minutes to go before her term came to an end at midnight Geneva time. Publication was delayed by the eleventh-hour delivery of an official Chinese response that contained names and pictures of individuals that had to be blacked out by the UN commissioner’s office for privacy and safety reasons.

Continue reading...
US ban on cotton from forced Uyghur labour comes into force

Fashion industry told to avoid cotton from Xinjiang, which accounts for 84% of China’s exports of the product

The fashion industry has been told it must wean itself off cotton from China’s Xinjiang region, as a new law comes into force giving US border authorities greater powers to block or seize goods linked to forced labour in China.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which comes into force today, assumes that any product partly or wholly made in Xinjiang, north-west China, is linked to the region’s labour camps. Since 2017, the Chinese authorities have detained as many as one million Uyghurs and subjected them to forced labour.

Continue reading...