Thousands of employees working in European Union (EU) institutions have denied the use of Chinese video surveillance provider Hikvision technologies in connection with the company’s cooperation with China’s human rights abuses and in particular the persecution of millions of Uygar people.
Cristiano Sebastiani, the president of the trade union, Renvo and Democrat, the leading European institution representing thousands of employees working in European offices, wrote a letter to Johannes Hahn in charge of budget and human resources for EU institutions on Wednesday regarding thermal imaging. Systems used by the European Commission and the European Parliament, built by Chinese technology giant Hikvision, according to a press statement.
Hikvision cameras have been placed at entrances throughout the European Parliament and installed in the European Commission’s main offices, the Berlemont and Charlemagne buildings, the statement noted.
Chinese company Hikvision has been accused of being associated with the persecution of Uygars and other Muslim minorities in eastern Turkistan in China’s Xinjiang province, including surveillance equipment used in brutal “re-education camps”.
The Chinese government holds a 40 percent controlling stake in Hikvision through the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.
A leaked German Foreign Ministry report estimates that 1 million Uyghurs are being detained without trial in China. The report states that members of ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Muslim minority groups are also being imprisoned.
Sebastian’s letter comes after the German Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Reinhard Buttikofer, head of the European Parliament’s delegation in China, denounced that Hikvision is a technology company using Hikvision technology by European institutions “extremely worrying” ” is. There is deep complication in the horrific persecution of the Uygar people in Xinjiang that is at the threshold of genocide “and that European institutions must” immediately create transparency and draw substantial results: that is, serious any direct or indirect trade relations with Hikvision ” . “
In addition, Charlie Weimer, a Swedish MEP from the European conservative and reformist group, stated that: “The EU should not deal with a Chinese firm that is allegedly involved in some of the most despicable human abuses in the world” and ” Nobel laureates must follow a high standard. “
Sveja Hahan, the German MEP of the Renew Europe group, addressed a letter to President European Parliament David Sasoli, saying that he found it “outrageous that European taxpayers’ money has been used to buy surveillance equipment from a company, because Their products are largely monitored. ” , Persecution of minorities and massive violations of human rights ”.
The use of the Hikvision technique by European institutions has provoked strong reactions from employees of EU institutions and they have expressed dissatisfaction when coming face-to-face with a company accused of contributing to human rights violations in China.
Regarding the management of personal data, a spokesman for the European Parliament confirmed that “the device is neither connected to the parliament’s computer network nor records any data”.
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