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US adds Chinese companies to blacklist for treatment of Uyghurs

Demonstrators take part in a demonstration against human rights violations of China on 27 December 2019 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
People gather to stage a demonstration in support of Uyghurs and against the human rights violations of China on 27 December 2019 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

The US Department of Commerce has added 11 Chinese companies to its economic blacklist due to the human rights violations arising from China's treatment of the Uyghur community in Xinjiang.

According to a Department statement, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added the companies which it believes are implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the Chinese government's campaign of "repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour, involuntary collection of biometric data and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the companies in question use forced labour by Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. "Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labour and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens," he explained.

The Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily from China's north-west region of Xinjiang, have been subject to religious and ethnic persecution by the Chinese authorities. The UN has said that in recent years more than 1 million have been held in detention camps.

READ: Not all Uyghurs are terrorists, Turkey tells China

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