In the European Parliament in Brussels, since May 2020, it has been filled with febrmeters and cameras from a Chinese company that also supplies the security cameras for the penal camps where one million Uighurs are being re-educated. Dozens of Members of Parliament have expressed their indignation and are angry at the fact that Parliament is taking down its own human rights policy.
According to the US government, the Chinese company is complicit in mass detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. In the penal camps, they are abused, sometimes causing death, and are victims of forced labour and sexual abuse.
“Adopting sharp resolutions in the main room against these penal camps and then doing business with a company that is responsible for security is outright hypocritical,” says MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP). He believes that Parliaments dubious deal is throwing away its example in the field of human rights.
Ruissen has been working together with 35 colleagues since October last year to have the Chinese scanners replaced. They sent letters and spoke with President David Sassoli. Sassoli said he didnt see a solution right away.
In Europe, unlike the US, Hikvision is not blacklisted. In addition, the products were purchased through the French company Veolia. The European Parliament has a multi-annual maintenance contract with that company. According to Sassoli, Brussels cannot just leave under the contract.
Ruissen calls Sassolis excuse disappointing and unconvincing. “He hides behind procurement rules. They should be subordinate to human rights.”
Parliament in Brussels in May last year would have been in a hurry to secure itself against corona in the workplace. A different supplier would later have been recruited for the parliament buildings in Luxembourg and Strasbourg.