UHRP applauds FCC Commissioner’s call for stronger response to CCP’s Uyghur genocide

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Uyghur Human Rights Project
April 1, 2021, 12:00 p.m. EST
Contact: Louisa Greve +1.571.882.4825, Peter Irwin +1.646.906.7722

UHRP applauds the statement made by Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr urging the removal of Huawei and Hikvision products from U.S. communications networks.

“American carriers should not be using equipment from Chinese companies that are complicit in the Chinese government’s human rights atrocities against Uyghurs. We welcome Commissioner Carr’s urgent call for these products to be removed from U.S. networks,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat in a statement. “These companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars building high-tech totalitarian suveillance systems for the Chinese government, using so-called ‘Muslim-tracking’ and ‘Uyghur alarm’ software.”

Commissioner Carr forcefully condemns crimes against humanity and genocide in the Uyghur Region in his March 30 statement. As legislation strengthening prohibitions on forced labor is considered in Congress, he states that the FCC should do its part by “launching a proceeding that would update our equipment authorization rules to ensure that we are not approving any devices that have been produced with forced labor.” He urges “requiring every company that procures any devices or components from the XUAR to meet a heightened burden to ensure that their supply chain does not rely on any forced labor” and does not help them “profit from their human rights abuses.”

Commissioner Carr continues, “we must require companies to be more vigilant and take additional actions to ensure that their supply chains are not supporting Communist China’s human rights abuses.”

Commissioner Carr rightly points to a “glaring loophole” in current FCC rules. The rules prohibit purchases of equipment made by Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company using federal funds, but private carriers are still allowed to purchase them using private funds. Over 3,000 purchases of Huawei equipment have been approved since 2018, and last year the FCC approved purchases of Hikvision and Dahua for video surveillance and facial recognition equipment.

The role of these companies in the creation of the police state in the Uyghur region is well documented. Huawei has a partnership with the Xinjiang Bureau of Public Security to run a “joint innovation laboratory,” and has developed an AI camera system designed to send automated “Uyghur alarms” to the police, as has Dahua. Hikvision likewise has a research partnership with the Xinjiang People’s Armed police and markets “Uyghur analytics.”

Commissioner Carr made the remarks at a March 30 event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Carr was joined at the event by Nury Turkel, Board Chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project and Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Read more: 

March 22, 2021: UHRP hails coordinated sanctions over China’s atrocities

Marach 9, 2021: ​UHRP welcomes finding of Chinese State violations under “each and every act” of the Genocide Convention 

January 19, 2021: UHRP urges worldwide action in the wake of U.S. genocide finding

March 13, 2020: Civil society groups applaud Norway Oil Fund divestment from Hikvision, urge further action

February 26, 2018: Conference at US Congress Highlights Draconic Restrictions on Uyghur Cultural And Religious Freedoms

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