CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2:30 PM EST
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) commends BASF’s press release, issued this morning, where the company declared that it would divest its shares in two joint venture companies, BASF Markor Chemical Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Markor Meiou Chemical Co., Ltd., both located in the East Turkistan city of Korla. CFU welcomes this act of corporate responsibility and calls on other corporations to follow BASF’s lead and exit the Uyghur region.
On February 2nd, 2024, German media outlets Der Spiegel and ZDF published a joint investigation revealing that employees of BASF’s Chinese partner company in East Turkistan (AKA Xinjiang) accompanied Chinese state officials on home visits to Uyghur households in 2018 and 2019. These visits were part of a government initiative aimed to surveil and politically indoctrinate the Uyghur community amidst the ongoing Uyghur genocide. The investigation, which drew upon research by Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Senior Fellow Dr. Adrian Zenz, prompted a collective response from over 30 politicians, urging BASF to withdraw from the region. Despite denying any wrongdoing by BASF personnel at these sites, the newly issued press release noted that its partner Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry, has been subject to “allegations that indicate activities inconsistent with BASF’s values.”
In July 2023, during an advocacy trip in Germany, Rushan Abbas, the Executive Director of CFU, Abdulhakim Idris, Executive Director of Center for Uyghur Studies, Haiyuer Kuerban, and the Director of the World Uyghur Congress’ Berlin office had a virtual meeting with the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) manager and team at BASF. During the meeting, they advocated for the company’s exit from East Turkistan and raised questions regarding their ESG standards and compliance with German supply chain law. Rushan Abbas asked BASF to be on the right side of history. In response to today’s release, Ms. Abbas states “This move by BASF is indeed a positive step forward in the corporate world in washing its hands clean of the Chinese regime’s genocide and crimes against humanity in East Turkistan. It is essential that other corporations follow BASF’s lead and immediately withdraw and disengage from the region.”
CFU reinforces the urgent need for corporate disengagement from East Turkistan to adhere to international law and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We remind all entities of their moral, ethical, and legal obligations to confront these crimes against humanity. CFU notes that Volkswagen (VW), a company also operating a jointly held plant in East Turkistan must follow BASF’s lead to divest from its business holdings in the region. CFU has taken an active role in uncovering the company’s sham audit to whitewash its complicity in Chinese Regime’s human rights abuses.