Auckland Peace Action is launching a petition demanding Massey University’s complete and immediate disengagement with iFLYTEK, a Chinese company that has been blacklisted for complicity in China’s massive human rights violations. The petition comes hot on the heels of Newsroom’s expose of the relationship between the company and the University.
Jessie Dennis, a Massey student and member of Auckland Peace Action initiated the petition. She was inspired to act because of her link to the University and by what she has read and heard. “Our public university must not be complicit in Chinese government repression of Uyghurs.”
“The situation for the Uyghur people in China is horrific and urgent. Mass ‘re-education camps’ are now holding over a million Uyghur people in China, which many are now acknowledging as concentration camps. Thousands of people have vanished. Children are being removed from their parents and being placed in re-education schools. Women are the subject of forced sterilisation and abuses. Muslim Uyghur people are unable to practice their religion, associate with each other or travel freely. Uyghurs who have fled their homeland are still not free to speak up on what is happening, as China is enforcing a policy of punishing the families of those who do. Even here in New Zealand, we are aware of harassment and intimidation of the small Uyghur community by the Chinese government,” said Jessie.
“Against this backdrop and with this knowledge, Massey cannot justify its continued relationship with iFLYTEK. Recently released documents obtained from the Chinese Government show what a pivotal role technologies involving data and artificial intelligence are playing in this mass scale repression and ethnic and religious forced assimilation. That iFlytek is involved in supplying technology to the police of the Xinjiang region, where the Uyghur people live, is not speculation but rather well evidenced and documented.”
“Words such as ‘concentration camps’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ should not be used lightly, but it is now widely acknowledged that this is the reality of the strategy being employed by the Chinese Government on the Uyghur people.”
If Massey fails to act swiftly in the interests of human rights, then Auckland Peace Action may be forced to step up actions on this issue.
Petition link: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/cut-ties-with-iflytek-support-the-uyghurs
Newsroom: Massey working with Chinese firm blacklisted over human rights https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/11/26/913921/massey-working-with-chinese-firm-blacklisted-over-human-rights
Human Rights Watch report on iFlytek: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/22/china-voice-biometric-collection-threatens-privacy