5G cannot be built on the back of slave labour – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today voiced concern over the Huawei’s involvement in 5G rollout and its connections to forced labour in China. Speaking in a Westminster debate on Huawei and 5G, Mr Carmichael raised a recent report alleging Huawei’s use of forced labour by the repressed Uighur Muslim minority in China.

Speaking during the debate, Mr Carmichael said:

“Can I just bring to his attention a very recent report from the Australian Strategic Policy Insitute, “Uighurs for Sale”, which reports a quite horrific programme of exporting Uighurs from Xinjiang province to other parts of China. According to this report in fact, Huawei is one of the companies that has benefitted.”

Responding during the debate, Iain Duncan Smith MP said:

“I think that’s shocking. I think if that is true it is an absolutely indictment and I do think the British Government has got to be speaking up more. It is shocking and it is time that we call it for what it is.”

Summing up at the end of the debate, the Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman MP, said:

“The UK has been vocal in drawing attention to the systematic violation of human rights of Uighur Muslims. We set out our expectations in the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.”

Speaking after the debate, Mr Carmichael said:

“The reports surrounding Huawei and the use of forced labour are concerning. Local people want better connectivity in the Northern Isles and elsewhere, but they don't want it built on the back of slave labour. I would urge the Government to look at this aspect of Huawei’s business in particular before it goes any further into the 5G process.”

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