US seizes products allegedly made from hair of Uighurs in Chinese camps

WION Web Team
New York, United States Published: Jul 02, 2020, 11:30 AM(IST)

Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

This is the second time that shipments of hair products has been seized by the CBP on the grounds that people making them are facing abuse.

A shipment of products allegedly made from human hair believed to have been taken from Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province has been seized by US federal authorities.

13 tons of weaves and other hair products worth an estimated $800,000 were in the shipment, according to the officials of the Customs and Border Protection.

Also read: China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population

Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s office of trade said, ''The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in US supply chains.''

This is the second time that shipments of hair products has been seized by the CBP on the grounds that people making them are facing abuse.

Earlier, an advisory was issued by the US State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security departments seeking for addition of extra pressure from the US on China at a time of heightened tensions over China's treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang and Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong.

Companies doing business in Xinjiang or with entities using Xinjiang labour face "reputational, economic, and legal risks" from human rights abuses, including forced labour, mass detention and forced sterilization, as per the advisory.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Wednesday, "CEOs should read this notice closely and be aware of the reputational, economic and legal risks of supporting such assaults on human dignity."

The action follows a US Commerce Department move last month that added seven companies and two institutions to an economic blacklist for being "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs" and others.

China's foreign ministry said in May it deplored and firmly opposed US sanctions over Xinjiang, calling it a purely internal affair for China.

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