by Ismail Allison
March 8, 2022
Muslim civil rights group urges CBP and SEC to investigate Amazon’s business activities in Uyghur Region
(WASHINGTON, D.C, 3/8/2022) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Amazon to cut ties with suppliers with links to forced labor in China and urged the State Department to investigate Amazon’s business activities in the Uyghur Region.
“Amazon’s alleged use of suppliers with links to forced labor and the genocide of Uyghurs in China would be shameful, immoral and possibly illegal,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “The federal government must conduct a thorough investigation of Amazon’s business activities in the Uyghur region, and Amazon must stop operating in that region.”
McCaw also noted that China has agreed to allow a UN visit to the Xinjiang region and called on the UN human rights chief to produce a thorough investigative report on China’s activities based on information gathered without Chinese government interference or influence.
A new report released by Tech Transparency Project (TTP) accused Amazon of working with suppliers in China with alleged links to forced Uyghur labor. TTP found that Amazon’s public list of suppliers includes five companies that have been linked directly or indirectly to forced labor of ethnic minorities from China’s Xinjiang region.
That report states in part:
“In China, programs euphemistically called ‘labor transfers’ move workers from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a predominantly Muslim area in western China, to factories in other parts of the country. Experts say these programs are often coercive and connected to a network of mass internment and reeducation camps in China. In at least some cases, Uyghur laborers are not allowed to leave factory facilities or return home of their own accord.”
Amazon even allegedly continued to include Esquel Group on its supplier list for more than a year after the U.S. government-imposed sanctions on an Esquel subsidiary for involvement in forced labor in China.
CAIR is specifically calling on the Department of Justice, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Amazon’s business activities relating to China and its genocide targeting Uyghur Muslims.
[NOTE: CBP is responsible for determining that importers like Amazon comply with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s requirements that merchandise from China was not produced using forced labor. Public companies like Amazon must also disclose their activities in Xinjiang to the SEC as part of their annual reports.]
It is well documented that China carries out acts of torture, rape, forced abortions and sterilizations, mass detention, denial of religious rights, and cultural erasure targeting Uyghur Muslims.
CAIR also called on the Biden administration to protect the free speech rights of American athletes during the Beijing Winter Olympics and urged Olympic athletes to defy China’s announced ban on political expression and speak out against the Uyghur Genocide.
CAIR previously urged community members to call on U.S.-based corporations advertising during the Beijing Winter Olympics to speak out against the ongoing genocide targeting China’s Uyghur Muslim minority.
And earlier in 2021, CAIR and its #BoycottHilton coalition partners called on the Departments of State and Commerce to investigate the Hilton Corporation for its complicity in the Uyghur genocide.