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Britain replaces China-made surveillance systems

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Britain replaces China-made surveillance systems

The British government has replaced security equipment provided by Chinese-owned tech companies at key government offices, media reports said.

This followed twin concerns – one Uyghur rights violations; two presence of Chinese-owned surveillance systems at the Department of Defence and police forces that has undermined national security.

Hikvision and Dahua cameras are used in concentration camps throughout the Uyghur, according  to Rights Groups, which are campaigning for their ban in the UK, Asian Lite reported.

This comes as the British MPs alleged that the Chinese government is persecuting minorities and intruding on governmental departments and research centres worldwide. They also accused China of violating the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries.

The Home Office, Department of Health Social Care, Department of Work and Pensions, and Department of Justice have since replaced the Chinese-made security equipment.

Welcoming the move, Prof. Fraser Sampson, Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material, said that other government departments would review their existing systems and will consider the clauses suggested by him in procuring surveillance and security equipment.

Sampson is an expert in criminal justice and national chair of the Association of Police and Crime Chief Executives. He said that the market is flooded with privately owned and unregulated recording devices like dash cams, mobile phones, and video doorbells.

“We don’t need these  CCTV cameras in our public places. We simply need a system to compile the content and edit to make it useful for the security purpose,” he said.

In his 2021 report, Prof. Sampson urged the government to consider the supplier’s human rights records in the procurement process.

Xinjiang’s Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang have been subjected to severe human rights abuses, torture and forced labor, as well as the eradication of their linguistic, cultural and religious traditions in what the United States and several Western parliaments have called genocide and crimes against humanity.

Chinese authorities have detained up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in internment camps since 2017, according to investigative reports by researchers, think tanks and foreign media.

However, China has always declined the charges levelled by the international community and it claimed the camps were vocational training centers meant to deter religious extremism and terrorism, reported Radio Free Asia.

According to reports, since 2016, over a million Uyghur Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang re-education camps by the Chinese Government. The main purpose of these re-education camps was to ensure adherence to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chinese authorities have been accused of imposing forced labour, systematic forced birth control and torture, and separating children from incarcerated parents.

China has been forcibly mass sterilising Uyghur women to suppress the population, separating children from their families, and attempting to break the cultural traditions of the group.

China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, claiming its system of “re-education” camps is there to combat separatism and Islamist militancy in the region.

— Beijing News Net report