Parisian protesters call on EU to ban products linked to Uyghur forced labor

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Protesters gathered in Paris on Saturday to demand a European ban on products linked to the forced labor of Uyghur minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. Speaking to FRANCE 24, Raphaël Glucksman, Member of the European Parliament, accused European companies with interests in China of trying to block EU efforts to ban the products of forced labor.

Activists gathered on Place de la République in Paris on Saturday to demand EU action against Beijing’s human rights violations against Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang province.

The protest came weeks after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced plans to ban the import of products made with forced labor.

In his State of the Union address on September 15, von der Leyen said the EU can “never agree” to products made by forced labor “being offered for sale in stores here in Europe” .

But speaking to FRANCE 24 from the rally in Place de la République, Member of the European Parliament Raphaël Glucksman accused European companies with interests in China of blocking EU efforts to regulate the importation of products. forced labor.

“When we are in the European Parliament, for example, we are not confronted with lobbies working for the Chinese government. When we want to take action and pass legislation that will harm Chinese interests, we are faced with representatives of European companies, ”Glucksman said. “The strongest embassies of the Chinese Community Party today are the big European companies that have interests in China, because China is essential for their production and essential as a market. “

A UN human rights report said at least one million ethnic Uyghurs in China are being held in what looks like a “massive internment camp shrouded in secrecy.”

China, however, denies the accusations and maintains that the camps are intended for the “re-education” of militant Islamists.

Uyghurs in Xinjiang are mostly Muslim, and human rights activists accuse China of committing crimes against humanity against the ethnic minority community.