Hikvision Wins Project Requiring Ramadan Alerts Against Minorities

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November 13, 2023 | IPVM

The ‘Smart Campus’ project is a “nightmare scenario” said Louisa Greve, Director of Global Advocacy for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, adding that even if Hikvision did not deliver the fasting alerts, “why in the world does it even consider doing business” with a state university requiring this:

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It’s truly outrageous for any tech company to do business with governments that use total-surveillance as a tool of genocide. Even if Hikvision, as it claimed by its UK and Ireland office, did not deliver a feature to monitor fasting and other normal religious practices of Muslims — why in the world does it even consider doing business with a state university that wants to track people’s religious practices?

It’s a nightmare scenario — a university wants to super-charge a long-standing government ban on students and teacher fasting for Ramadan with digital surveillance. [emphasis added]

Nury Turkel, a Uyghur and Commissioner for the US Center For International Religious Freedom, told IPVM that the ‘fasting month’ alerts “raise significant concerns” for Muslims as it refers to Ramadan:

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Recent discussions about the procurement document issued by the Fujian provincial government suggest that the targeted students mentioned are likely to be Muslims. The Chinese term “斋⽉” (Zhaiyue) refers to Ramadan, observed by various Muslim communities, including Uyghurs, other Turkic Muslims, Hui Muslims, and Muslim students of different ethnic backgrounds. The specific surveillance capabilities requested from Hikvision regarding these students at Minjiang College raise significant concerns.

The surveillance data collected by Hikvision could potentially be used by authorities to further target and oppress Muslim students based on their freedom of religion or belief. This situation highlights the alarming potential for abuse and discrimination that arises from mass surveillance systems. USCIRF supports the U.S. government’s action to impose sanctions on the company in response to Hikvision’s actions and their implications that a threat to religious freedom in China and the human rights of Chinese citizens. [emphasis added]

Read the full article: https://ipvm.com/reports/hikvision-fasting