Members of Congress raise pressure on Thermo Fisher
A letter from the Congressional Executive Committee on China urges answers about the sale of Thermo Fisher products in Tibet
Pressure on Thermo Fisher Scientific is growing after the US-based Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) contacted the company’s CEO, Marc Casper, regarding the use of the company’s equipment in occupied Tibet.
In a letter released yesterday, the CECC commissioners question Casper about the purchase and use of Thermo Fisher’s products in occupied Tibet by police. They note that Tibetans are currently being subjected to a “mass DNA collection” that “could enable further gross violations” and ask whether the company would consider a “blanket prohibition on all sales of its products to the People’s Republic of China” to reassure shareholders that Thermo Fisher products will not be used to carry out human rights abuses.
The letter was signed by the CECC Chair, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Cochair, Jim McGovern, along with its ranking members, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Chris Smith.
This pressure from Members of Congress follows campaigning by Tibet groups including Free Tibet, including public awareness campaigning and an online petition to Marc Casper, which has already accumulated thousands of signatures. The organisations have also contacted Thermo Fisher on multiple occasions to request a meeting with Marc Casper.
Tibet groups’ concerns are driven by growing evidence that Chinese police in occupied Tibet are carrying out a mass DNA collection programme that has targeted over one million Tibetans, including children as young as five years old. In one Tibetan municipality, corroborated reports show that at least 69 percent of the Tibetan community have had their data collected.
Tibetans and Tibet supporters have put their concerns to Marc Casper that the mass DNA collection amounts to ethnic profiling of Tibetans, is disproportionate in its scale and violates international human rights standards. They have called for Thermo Fisher to take every step possible to ensure it plays no part in this mass DNA collection.
The purchases of Thermo Fisher’s equipment by Chinese police in occupied Tibet was revealed by the Intercept in September. The article noted that only one month earlier, equipment worth $160,000, including DNA testing kits, had been bought by police in occupied Tibet.
As many as 1.2 million Tibetans have had DNA samples taken to build a sweeping genetic database that will add to Beijing’s growing surveillance capabilities, giving China unprecedented power to monitor Tibetans, violate their privacy and persecute them.
Sign our petition asking CEO Marc Casper to end this deadly deal with China immediately!