Government Announce Purchase Of New Equipment Will Be Barred And Installed Equipment Must Be Ripped Out
Specialist lawyers representing campaigners opposed to Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G network have welcomed the Government’s decision to remove the tech giant from the network.
The Government has this lunchtime announced that it will bar the Chinese company from being involved in the 5G network.
In January the government announced that Huawei would be allowed to have a limited role in ‘non-core’ parts of the UK 5G network.
Following the announcement British Uyghur campaigners, Rahima Mahmut and Enver Tohti Bughda, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate. They were concerned by reports of forced labour in Huawei’s supply chain, and its alleged involvement in human rights violations in China.
They argued that there was evidence that Huawei was implicated in the enslavement and forcible transfer of people to work in factories connected to the phone company’s supply chain. Muslim minorities in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang are mostly affected, they believe.
Following a government review, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told MPs this lunchtime that Huawei equipment already in the UK’s 5G networks must be removed by 2027.
The purchase of new 5G equipment from Huawei will also be banned after December 31.
Expert Opinion“The decision to allow Huawei to be involved in the UK’s 5G network caused a lot of anger and upset for many. Security issues and human rights issues were among the concerns
“It’s important that governments and companies meet their human rights obligations when conducting business transactions.
“Since the Government’s earlier announcement to allow Huawei limited involvement, we have been investigating on behalf of our clients whether the company was implicated in surveillance, repression and persecution of Uyghurs and other minority groups in China in violation of international human rights laws.
“Our clients welcome the Government’s announcement to stop Huawei being involved in the 5G network and remove all equipment manufactured by the company.
“While phone companies have until 2027 to remove this equipment we would urge them to treat this with the highest urgency and remove equipment well ahead of this date if possible.
“We have written to seven major phone companies in the UK asking them to review their relationships with Huawei in light of their modern slavery and human rights obligations, and we await their replies.” Oliver Carter - Associate Solicitor
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