News

Human Rights

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U.S. prosecutors have charged four Iranians, alleged to be intelligence operatives for Tehran, with plotting to kidnap a New York journalist and human rights activist who was critical of Iran, according to a Justice Department indictment unsealed on Tuesday.

In recent years, Iranian intelligence officers have tricked a number of overseas activists to travel to destinations where they were kidnapped and sent back to Iran, U.S. authorities said.


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The U.S. government will this week warn companies of increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong and also update a previously issued warning on Xinjiang, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The report said that U.S. companies face threats including the Chinese government's ability to gain access to data that foreign companies store in Hong Kong.


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The Biden administration is set as early as Friday to add more than 10 Chinese companies to its economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang, two sources told Reuters.

The U.S. Commerce Department action will follow its announcement last month adding five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of forced labor in the far western region of China.


AP News | Equities.com |

China has highlighted an unlikely series of videos this year in which Uyghur men and women deny U.S. charges that Beijing is committing human rights violations against their ethnic group. In fact, a text obtained by the AP shows that the videos are part of a government campaign that raises questions about the willingness of those filmed.

Chinese state media have published dozens of the videos praising the Communist Party and showing Uyghurs angrily denouncing former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for declaring a genocide in the far west Xinjiang region. The videos, which officials have insisted are spontaneous outpourings of emotion, have also featured prominently in a series of government news conferences held for foreign media.


AP News | Equities.com |

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Tuesday for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, citing human rights abuses by China’s government.

“We cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China,” the California Democrat said during a joint video hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.


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China condemned on Thursday a joint statement by G7 foreign ministers that expressed support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan and cast Beijing as a bully, saying it was a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.

G7 foreign ministers said in a communique after a London summit that China was guilty of human rights abuses and of using “coercive economic policies”, which the G7 would use collective efforts to stop.


AP News | Equities.com |

Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday made the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth, enacting the prohibition over the governor’s objections.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate voted to override GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the measure, which prohibits doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Two U.S. senators have asked the leading solar energy lobbying group to clarify U.S. dependence on solar products linked to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang, part of push in Congress to address what Western countries say are rights abuses by Beijing.

Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Jeff Merkley sent a letter on Tuesday asking the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to detail measures it or member companies have taken to ensure that solar products sourced from Xinjiang, including polysilicon, are not made using forced labor.


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The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on Monday for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the such coordinated Western action against Beijing under new U.S. President Joe Biden.

Beijing hit back immediately with punitive measures against the EU that appeared broader, including European lawmakers, diplomats, institutes and families, and banning their businesses from trading with China.


AP News | Equities.com |

Top U.S. and Chinese officials wrapped up two days of contentious talks in Alaska on Friday after having traded traded sharp and unusually public barbs over vastly different views of each other and the world in their first face-to-face meeting since President Joe Biden took office.

The two sides finished the meetings after an opening session on Thursday in which they attacked each other. The U.S. accused the Chinese delegation of “grandstanding” and Beijing fired back, saying there was a “strong smell of gunpowder and drama” that was entirely the fault of the Americans.