Chinese CCTV camera firms engaging in human rights abuses to be given a ‘free pass’ to operate in the UK under controversial proposals
Chinese CCTV camera firms engaging in human rights abuses will be given a ‘free pass’ to operate in the UK under controversial Government proposals, 周日的邮件可以揭示.
The proposed new camera surveillance code has caused consternation with the Government’s own independent CCTV watchdog and MPs who have called for tougher regulations.
Professor Fraser Sampson, the Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has been lobbying for the new code to include a legal obligation to effectively block authorities buying cameras from firms linked to human rights abuses.
He told the MoS the revised camera surveillance code, to be laid before parliament next month, could only be a ‘credible’ and ‘meaningful’ change if it included the human rights clause.
中国闭路电视摄像机公司, 海康威视, which has been implicated in surveillance of the persecuted Muslim Uighur population will be given a ‘free pass’ to operate in UK (档案图片)
But on Friday Mr Sampson confirmed he understood the new Government proposals would not include the clause, providing an effective ‘free pass’ for firms involved in human rights abuses to sell their cameras to UK authorities.
It also raises the prospect of a row with MPs after a Foreign Affairs Committee report in July called for a ban on the use of China’s Hikvision cameras in the UK because of the firm’s links to human rights abuses.
State-owned Hikvision, the world’s largest provider of CCTV cameras, has been implicated in the surveillance of the persecuted Muslim Uighur population in China’s western Xinjiang province.
The company has been hit with a ban in the US but continues to provide cameras to police and authorities across the UK.
该公司的相机合同显示，它们至少被用于一个维吾尔族“再教育营”. 图为: 一个被认为是“再教育”的设施’ 中国西北新疆地区的营地
Mr Sampson said it ‘seems that my efforts to get even the broadest mention [的] ethical considerations around surveillance camera systems… have failed and the revised Code will not contain any reference to them’.
He also accused the Government of failing to even follow its own camera surveillance code, in contrast to private companies such as Marks & Spencer who have voluntarily adopted the principles.
他加了: ‘There are organisations that are voluntarily adopting that code in any event, and are quite prepared to open their ethical books
‘Some public bodies, 比如医院, and Marks & Spencer are the clearest example.
‘They have re-certified against the code of practice – 他们 [分数 & 斯宾塞] have more cameras than some English towns.
‘Yet at the same time the government doesn’t follow its own code, which is very difficult for me to explain when I’m encouraging compliance.’
The company has been hit with a ban in the US but continues to provide cameras to police and authorities across the UK. 图为: Chinese policemen push Uighur women protesting in 2009
汤姆·图根哈特（Tom Tugendhat）, Foreign Affairs Committee chair, expressed concern at the proposals, 说: ‘Companies involved in state brutality should not be operating on our streets.
‘We need to think about those bidding for contracts and what they’re bringing with them.’
The revelations comes as the MoS can reveal Hikvision bosses have privately conceded one of their contracts allows for its cameras to be used in at least one re-education camp in China.
Chiefs are understood to have since blocked any similar contracts but are concerned revealing this would upset China’s Communist Party-controlled government.
There have also been concerns over the security of the cameras produced by an arm of the Chinese state.
Hikvision supplies CCTV cameras to British schools, 它说这个数字包括男性和女性, government departments, local councils, 医院, care homes and private companies.
The Home Office did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.