The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region.
“These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for engaging in human rights violations and abuses,” while the department penalized seven companies for enabling surveillance in Xinjiang.
All nine entities are now subject to restrictions on exports from the US, the department said.
Washington has been increasingly active in its criticism of China’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and in October last year blacklisted 28 entities allegedly involved in rights violations in the region.
The US House of Representatives and US Senate need to reconcile similar acts approved last year that would seek sanctions on officials over abuses, and restrict exports of surveillance and other equipment seen as assisting in repression in Xinjiang.
Uighur advocates and witnesses have said that Beijing is seeking to forcibly integrate the ethnic group.
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