US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang

In this Dec. 5, 2018, fie photo, two layers of barbed wire fencing ring the "Hotan City apparel employment training base" where Hetian Taida Apparel Co. has a factory in Hotan in western China's Xinjiang region. (AP)
Updated 08 October 2019

US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang

  • China had until recently denied the camps existed but now claims they are “vocational training schools” necessary to control terrorism, while decrying interference in its “internal affairs”

WASHINGTON: The US Commerce Department announced Monday it is blacklisting 28 Chinese entities that it says are implicated in rights violations and abuses targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the move, which bars the named entities from purchasing US products, saying the United States “cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China.”
According to an update to the US Federal Register set to be published Wednesday, the blacklisted firms included video surveillance company Hikvision, as well as artificial intelligence companies Megvii Technology and SenseTime.
Right groups say China has detained around one million Uighurs and other Muslims in re-education camps in western Xinjiang region in a step Washington says is reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
China had until recently denied the camps existed but now claims they are “vocational training schools” necessary to control terrorism, while decrying interference in its “internal affairs.”
The US move came after Washington banned technology giant Huawei and other Chinese firms from government contracts, amid the trade war between the two countries.


Asylum-seeking Iranian beauty queen still in custody at Manila airport

Updated 3 min 3 sec ago

Asylum-seeking Iranian beauty queen still in custody at Manila airport

  • Bahari said authorities in the Philippines were keeping her in the dark about the status of her asylum case
  • Bahari has consistently said the assault and battery case against her is fake, and Tehran was targeting her for supporting an opposition politician

MANILA: An Iranian beauty queen seeking asylum in the Philippines remains incarcerated at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport almost a week after she was barred from entering the southeast Asian country due to an Interpol red notice.
Bahareh Zare Bahari, Iran’s representative to the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant, was arrested at the airport last Thursday following a charge against her for an assault and battery case allegedly committed in Dagupan City in the Philippines. Bahari denies any wrongdoing. 
Speaking to Arab News by telephone on Wednesday, Bahari said authorities in the Philippines were keeping her in the dark about the status of her asylum case.
“Filipino authorities are not updating me. They said they sent a letter to Interpol in Iran to get an answer from them. So they told me I have to wait until Iran Interpol answers,” she said. 
Bahari also said she was not feeling well and had been examined by a doctor at the airport on Tuesday. She did not provide details of her ailment.
Bahari has consistently said the assault and battery case against her is fake, and Tehran was targeting her for supporting an opposition politician and violating traditional values by taking part in beauty pageants and speaking for women’s rights.
In January, she appeared at a pageant carrying a picture of Reza Pahlavi, an Iranian opposition leader and founder of the National Council of Iran.
“I have used his photo in a beauty pageant and the Iranian government are angry with me,” Bahari said, adding: “If I am deported to Iran, they will give me at least 25 years in jail, if they do not kill me.”
Tehran has not commented on Bahari’s statements. 
Bahari said last week that she had traveled to the Philippines after a vacation in Dubai, where she did not encounter any problems with immigration authorities, adding that she was surprised when she was intercepted at the airport in Manila and informed that she was on an Interpol list.
Bahari said her lawyer “had checked all records in the Philippines and with Interpol,” but there was no record against her.
The beauty queen has denied committing any crimes in Iran, or in the Philippines where she has been studying dentistry since 2014.
The Philippines Department of Justice (DoJ) Undersecretary and spokesperson Mark Perete said in a statement last week that Bahari remained in custody at the airport and “could not be sent back to Iran because she has filed an application for asylum.”
The DoJ would resolve her asylum application “in due time,” Perete added.