Thousands Of EU Staff Reject Chinese Surveillance Units

Thousands of staff employed at the European Unions institutions have rejected the use of Chinese video surveillance provider Hikvision technologies in light of the company’s association with China’s human rights abuses and specifically the oppression of millions of Uyghurs.

President Cristiano Sebastiani of the leading European Institution Trade Union, Renouveau & Democratie, representing thousands of staff employed in the European offices, wrote a letter to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner in charge of Budget and Human Resources for the EU Institutions on Wednesday regarding the thermal imaging systems used by the European Commission and the European Parliament, produced by the Chinese technology giant Hikvision, according to a press statement.

The Hikvision cameras have been placed at entrances throughout the European Parliament and installed in the European Commission’s main offices, the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings, the statement noted.

The Chinese company Hikvision has been accused of being linked to the oppression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in East Turkistan, China’s Xinjiang province, including providing surveillance equipment used in the brutal “re-education camps”.

The Chinese government holds a 40 per cent controlling stake in Hikvision via the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.

A leaked German Foreign Ministry report estimates that 1 million Uyghur in China are being detained without trial. Ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups are also being imprisoned, the report said.

Sebastiani’ letter comes after German Member of European Parliament (MEP) Reinhard Butikofer, head of the European Parliament delegation to China, denounced that the use of Hikvision technology by the European institutions as “extremely worrying” since “Hikvision is a technology company which is deeply complicit in the terrible oppression of the Uighur people in Xinjiang which borders on genocide” and that the European institutions should “immediately create transparency and draw the adequate consequences: i.e. sever any direct or indirect business relationship with Hikvision.”

Also, Charlie Weimers, Swedish MEP from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, said that: “The EU should have no dealings whatsoever with a Chinese firm that is alleged to be involved in some of the most abhorrent human rights abuses in the world” and that “Nobel Prize winners should adhere to a higher standard.”

Svenja Hahn, German MEP from the Renew Europe group, addressed a letter to President European Parliament David Sassoli, saying that she found “it outrageous that European taxpayers’ money has been used to purchase monitoring equipment from a company that with their products enables mass surveillance, oppression of minorities and massive breaches of human rights”.

The use of Hikvision technology by the European institutions has provoked strong reactions from EU institutions staff as well and they have expressed their discontent at having to come face to face with a company accused of contributing to human rights violations in China.

Concerning the management of personal data, the spokesperson of the European Parliament confirmed that “the equipment is neither connected to the Parliament’s computer network nor records any data”. (ANI)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features. Without these cookies basic services cannot be provided.

Cookie generated by applications based on the PHP language. This is a general purpose identifier used to maintain user session variables. It is normally a random generated number, how it is used can be specific to the site, but a good example is maintaining a logged-in status for a user between pages.

Used on sites built with Wordpress. Tests whether or not the browser has cookies enabled
  • wordpress_test_cookie

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x