Your taxes go from your pocket, to the government, to Hikvision and potentially on to the Chinese government.
At least 67 peers and MPs from the UK houses of parliament have backed calls by Free Tibet, Big Brother Watch and others for a complete ban on the sale and use of Hikvision equipment in the UK. Those signing in support include Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey MP, former Labour Shadow Attorney General Baroness Chami Shakrabarti and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
CCTV manufacturer Hikvision is part-owned by the Chinese government and has been a key part of the creation of a surveillance state in Tibet and have been involved in enabling the genocide of Uyghur’s in East Turkestan. Despite this, there are more than one million Hikvision cameras in the UK including in schools, hospitals, prisons and government buildings.
In recent months campaigners including Free Tibet have succeeded in shining a light on the abuses perpetrated by a company whose cameras millions of us will be filmed by every day. There are now significant moves to amend a number of bills currently being debated in parliament to include measures that would exclude UK taxpayer money being spent on Hikvision cameras. Even if these new laws are made there will still be hundreds of thousands of Hikvision cameras operating in private businesses and in homes through Hikvision’s EZVIZ consumer brand.
Following the calls, and actions by Free Tibet including a protest outside their UK headquarters, Hikvision told the BBC that ‘fringe groups’ including Free Tibet of ‘throwing accusations’ and ‘demonising’ the company. In response, Free Tibet’s media officer, Will Hoyles, told IPVM:
“Hikvision have been asked repeatedly by CCTV commissioner Fraser Sampson to answer basic questions about security concerns and their links to genocide and have refused to answer. If they think anything we’ve ever said about them is incorrect we’d be delighted to meet with them to discuss it. Rather than responding to our evidence Hikvision have instead had us escorted away from their offices, avoided events they knew we’d attend and blocked us on social media. Our views are not fringe but are backed by dozens of parliamentarians of all parties and instead of engaging with criticism Hikvision are throwing around insults.”
Nearly two-thirds of UK councils use CCTV linked to Tibetan oppression…
Hikvision is the largest manufacturer of video surveillance equipment in the world and it is controlled by the Chinese state.