Contact your MP – #BanHikvision
Write to your MP using our suggested template urging them to support Lord Alton’s amendment, which would ban all UK institutions from procuring surveillance technology from companies that are subject to the National Intelligence Law.
Jewish history knows only too well what it is for a people to suffer this way, with too few to speak up for us. Our experience of interment and of religious and ethnic persecution shows us the importance of the right to hold and express our beliefs freely, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without fear of violence, persecution, and genocide.
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I am writing to you as your constituent about the Procurement Bill and, in particular, urging you to support the amendment proposed by Sir Iain Duncan Smith, specifying that surveillance equipment produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China be removed from the UK Government’s procurement supply chain. The amendment also requires the government to commit to a plan for the removal of such surveillance equipment.
The government has acknowledged that surveillance equipment by companies such as Hikvision poses a security risk in the UK. Last November, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster stated that, following a security review, government departments had been ordered to cease any further installation of surveillance equipment by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law, such as Hikvision, and that they should consider removing them entirely. This policy is welcome but remains insufficient to tackle the scale of the problem, for which the solution is an outright ban on the sale and operation of Hikvision surveillance equipment in the UK.
Hikvision cameras have been found to have enabled the repression of Tibetan, Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples living under Chinese rule. This includes the use of Hikvision cameras in police stations, where they have been used during the torture and extraction of confessions from prisoners, and in internment camps.
It is estimated that close to three million Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are detained indefinitely in detention and forced labour camps in Uyghur Region (Xinjiang). Many are being subject to extreme mass surveillance, enforced isolation, physical and psychological torture, forced sterilisation and sexual abuse, and arbitrary detention in concentration, forced labour and “re-education” camps by Chinese authorities.
The only way to ensure these cameras are removed from the UK is by committing the government to a clear timeframe. By supporting the amendment, you would also help ensure the UK government distances itself from companies facilitating human rights abuses in Tibet and the Uyghur region.
As a Jewish person, I know only too well what it is for a people to suffer this way, with too few to speak up for us. I therefore have a moral imperative to speak up against this injustice and not to look the other way at what is happening. Our experience of interment and of religious and ethnic persecution shows us the importance of the right to hold and express our beliefs freely, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without fear of violence, persecution, and genocide. The hope then, for all future generations, was expressed in the Declaration yet history has concerning predictions for what is currently happening to Uyghurs, Tibetans and other groups under Chinese rule.
Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.