World Uyghur Congress loses legal challenge against UK authorities

The World Uyghur Congress has said it is disappointed to have lost a legal challenge against UK authorities for not launching a criminal investigation into the importation of cotton products manufactured by forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province but would continue to fight for accountability. The WUC took the home secretary, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency (NCA), to the high court, claiming an unlawful failure or refusal to investigate imports from Xinjiang, allegedly home to 380 internment camps used to detain Uyghurs and people from other…

Chinese security firm advertises ethnicity recognition technology while facing UK ban

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. These included using facial recognition for retail security, border control, and anti-money laundering checks for retail banking. The brochure also advertised “Optional Demographic Profiling Facial analysis algorithms”, including “gender,…

French regulator called on to withdraw licence allowing CGTN to broadcast from London

France’s media regulator is under pressure to withdraw a licence that allows the Chinese state broadcaster to beam its programmes across Europe from a studio in west London. Ofcom revoked the organisation’s licence to transmit in the UK last year but the China Global Television Network (CGTN) was able to continue broadcasting following authorisation from the French authority. The Chinese network has produced English-language programmes, including those presented by a former BBC Wales Today presenter, from its European hub in Chiswick since 2018. When Ofcom revoked its UK licence, CGTN…

Evidence grows of forced labour and slavery in production of solar panels, wind turbines

The Australian clean energy industry has warned of growing evidence linking renewable energy supply chains to modern slavery, and urged companies and governments to act to eliminate it. A report by the Clean Energy Council, representing renewable energy companies and solar installers, has called for more local renewable energy production and manufacturing and a “certificate of origin” scheme to counter concerns about slave labour in mineral extraction and manufacturing in China, Africa and South America. Released on Tuesday, the paper said slavery in all supply chains was a global problem.…

China: protests break out in Xinjiang following deadly high-rise fire under lockdown – video

Protests have broken out in China’s far western Xinjiang region, in the latest demonstration of public anger towards the country’s zero-Covid policy and strict lockdown rules. Crowds chanted ‘End the lockdown’ at hazmat-suited guards following a fire in a high-rise building that killed 10 people in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital. According to users on Chinese social media, the lockdown hampered escape efforts, but authorities strongly deny this. The Chinese government says it will continue a zero-Covid policy despite protests and a mounting toll on the economy The Guardian

Covid lockdown protests break out in western China after deadly 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. Videos showed people in a plaza singing China’s national anthem with its lyric “Rise up, those who refuse…

Major funds exposed to companies allegedly engaged in Uyghur repression in China

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. In recent years,…

China using influencers to whitewash human rights abuses, report finds

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”. Under the increasingly authoritarian rule of Xi Jinping, the CCP’s oppression of ethnic minorities has worsened, with major crackdowns in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Global condemnation has mounted, with a…

West weighs calling for China Uyghur abuses inquiry at UN

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. The outgoing UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, issued a report on her last day in office – 31 August – claiming there…

Xinjiang lockdown: Chinese censors drown out posts about food and medicine shortages

Chinese censors have reportedly been ordered to flood social media with innocuous posts about Xinjiang to drown out mounting complaints of food and medication shortages in a region under lockdown for more than a month. The Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture, also known as Yili, is home to about 4.5 million people, and is believed to have been first put into lockdown in early August, without official public announcement, after an outbreak of Covid-19. In recent days social media has hosted reams of post about food shortages, delays or refusals of…