Religious freedom organization urges European governments and citizens to boycott firm providing China with technology used for repression
Vienna, 11 August 2020 – The Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF), a Vienna-based nongovernmental human rights organization, urged European governments and citizens to oppose purchase of Chinese technology giant Huawei’s 5-G wireless networks because the firm enables grave human rights violations by the Chinese Communist regime.
“Huawei is enabling some of the worst violations of human rights and religious freedom happening in the world today, namely the persecution of millions of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China,” according to Peter Zoehrer, an Austrian journalist and FOREF’s Executive Director.
“We must not allow ourselves to be morally compromised by patronizing this firm; we must stand in solidarity with China’s victims,” he said.
Huawei was founded by an officer from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and is considered an arm of the Chinese state. The firm supplies technology, infrastructure, and training to the public security bureau in Xinjiang, and gives the state intrusive surveillance capacity used to monitor, repress, persecute and enslave the Uyghur population. As many as 3 million Uyghurs are incarcerated in concentration camps, which the Chinese government claims are “vocational training centers” needed to eradicate terrorist threats.
Huawei’s contribution to atrocities in Xinjiang was thoroughly exposed in a report by Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), entitled “Uyghurs for Sale: ‘Re-education,’ Forced Labour and Surveillance Beyond Xinjiang.”
“In making business decisions regarding Huawei, European governments cannot pretend to be unaware of the company’s role in gravely violating religious freedom and human rights,” Zoehrer said.
In the human rights and religious freedom magazine Bitter Winter, Ruth Ingram wrote that, “Huawei is ‘proudly’ working hand in hand with the Communist Party to crush the Uyghur people and other Turkic minorities in the region.”
Serious concerns also exist with regard to security threats posed by use of Huawei’s technology, which may enable sabotage, espionage, and manipulation by the Chinese government.
Huawei technology used to “prop up dictators around the world”
According to Dr. Jianli Yang, a leading Chinese pro-democracy advocate and Tiananmen Square massacre survivor, Huawei’s technology is a threat to freedom, democracy and human rights wherever it is used.
“Repression of the kind facilitated by Huawei is not meant to end at China’s borders. China’s total surveillance not only continues to protect China’s dictatorship, it is also helping to prop up dictators around the world. Over a dozen countries such as Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Ecuador are using the system to conduct mass surveillance and repress dissidents,” Yang said.
For more information:
Peter Zoehrer, Executive Director, FOREF: +43 (0)6645238794
Dr. Aaron Rhodes, President, FOREF: +49 1703238314