U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials seized a shipment of 13 tons of hair and weave products suspected to be made out of human hair today. The source of the products is believed to be prisoners of Chinese internment camps.
Up to 1 million ethnic Uyghar Muslims are believed to be held in Chinese “reeducation camps” in the western Xinjiang region of the country. They are held there and forced to denounce their religion and language, are physically abused, and forced into labor.
“The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in U.S. supply chains,” said Brenda Smith of the CBP’s Office of Trade.
This is the second time this year CBP has made such a seizure of Chinese products. An earlier shipment was seized in May.
“This is so heartbreaking for us,” Rushan Abbas said. “I want people to think about the slavery people are experiencing today. My sister is sitting somewhere being forced to make what, hair pieces?”
Abbas is an Uyghar American activist whose sister went missing in China almost two years ago. She is believed to be held in one of China’s detention camps.
The Associated Press tried to visit the company where the shipment that was seized in May was produced more than a year ago. They were attempting to report on detention camp labor being performed for Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co.
Police called the cab driver as he was driving the journalists to the area and ordered him to turn around, warning that the car’s coordinates were being tracked.
Photo by CBP