Nearly two-thirds of UK councils use CCTV linked to Tibetan oppression…
Last week we sent the letter below to Justin Hollis, the Marketing Director for Hikvision UK, asking for a meeting to discuss Hikvision’s involvement in human rights abuses in Tibet. We’ve not yet had a reply but we’ll keep asking until Hikvision give us answers.
We’ve tried through several channels to arrange a meeting but so far have had no response.
We’d like to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the use of Hikvision cameras in the oppression of Tibetan, Uyghur and Hongkonger people.
There is considerable evidence that Hikvision’s cameras are key to the Chinese government’s brutal and systematic efforts to repress any dissident behaviour. As you know, Fraser Sampson the CCTV commissioner for the UK has repeatedly requested a public meeting with you to discuss these issues and has said there is no obvious reason why there would be any commercial sensitivity to doing so.
Given the scale of the abuses committed by the Chinese government, the evidence that Hikvision’s cameras are used in the course of this abuse, the Chinese government’s major financial stake in Hikvision, and well publicised security flaws in Hikvision equipment we think it is imperative that if Hikvision wishes to continue to operate in the UK that they respond to these issues publicly.
We would like to meet you to get answers to the following questions:
- Hikvision has previously said that it wants to keep its responses to these issues out of the hands of ‘anti-Hikvision and anti-China platforms’ and that groups like ours are ‘fringe groups’ who are ‘throwing around accusations.’ What information don’t you want Free Tibet to know, and what accusations do you dispute?
- Does Hikvision accept that the Chinese government is committing human rights abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang? Are Hikvision cameras ever used by Chinese officials who have been involved in human rights abuses?
- The Chinese government has been forcibly installing CCTV inside Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to allow constant surveillance of monks and nuns. Does Hikvision UK know how many of those cameras are made by Hikvision?
- Uyghur Muslims who have escaped Chinese state detention say that they have been locked in cells with only Hikvision cameras watching them and if they ever talk to each other a guard watching them on the camera shouts at them. Is Hikvision ok with its technology being used for this purpose?
- Hikvision makes an interrogation system that transcribes and prints confessions from prisoners who have been strapped to chairs for days on end. Do you know how many of these interrogation systems have been sold to officials in Tibet?
- Evidence has emerged of Hikvision systems in Italy sending unknown information to servers in China. Can you explain this?
- Is data, or metadata, gathered by cameras in the UK ever sent to China or used to support the development of software or hardware that is used in China.
We would like to arrange a meeting between you, Free Tibet researchers and Tibetans and Uyhgurs to discuss these issues.
I look forward to your acknowledgement of this email.
If you think that Hikvision should be banned from the UK please sign our petition.
Your taxes go from your pocket, to the government, to Hikvision and potentially on to the Chinese government.
Hikvision is the largest manufacturer of video surveillance equipment in the world and it is controlled by the Chinese state.