Brussels [Belgium]November 13 (ANI): Thousands of employees of the European Union’s institutions have rejected the use of Chinese video surveillance provider Hikvision technologies in light of the company’s link to China’s human rights abuses and specifically the repression of millions of Uighurs.
President Cristiano Sebastiani of the leading European institution’s trade union, RenouveauDemocratie, representing thousands of staff at European offices, wrote a letter to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources at the EU institutions, on the thermal imaging systems used by the European Commission and the European Parliament. , produced by the Chinese technology giant Hikvision, according to a press release.
The Hikvision cameras have been placed at entrances throughout the European Parliament and installed in the European Commission’s headquarters, the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings, the statement said.
The Chinese company Hikvision has been accused of being linked to the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in eastern Turkey, China’s Xinjiang province, including the provision of surveillance equipment used in the brutal “retraining camps”.
The Chinese government holds a controlling stake in Hikvision of 40 percent through the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.
A leaked report from the German Foreign Ministry estimates that 1 million Uyghurs in China are being held without trial. Ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups are also being detained, the report said.
Sebastiani’s letter comes after German MEP Reinhard Butikofer, head of the European Parliament’s delegation to China, condemned the European institutions’ use of Hikvision technology as “extremely worrying” because “Hikvision is a technology company deeply involved in the terrible repression. of the Uighurs in Xinjiang bordering on genocide and that the European institutions “would immediately create transparency and draw sufficient consequences: ie break all direct or indirect business relations with Hikvision.” Charlie Weimers, Swedish member of the European Conservative and Reformist Group said: “EU should have nothing to do with a Chinese company that is alleged to be involved in some of the most heinous human rights violations in the world “and that” Nobel Prize winners should follow a higher standard. “Svenja Hahn, a German member of the Renew Europe group, wrote a letter to European Parliament President David Sassoli, saying she found it ‘outrageous’ that European taxpayers’ money has been used to buy surveillance equipment from a company that enables mass surveillance with its products. oppression of minorities and massive human rights violations “.
The use of Hikvision technology by the European institutions has also provoked strong reactions from EU staff and they have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that they have to face a company accused of contributing to human rights violations in China.
With regard to the handling of personal data, the European Parliament’s spokesman confirmed that “the equipment is neither connected to Parliament’s computer network nor registers any data”. (ANI)