US Customs Seizes 13-Ton Shipment Of Human Hair, Likely From Chinese Prisoners

Screengrab / @StephenSeanFord / Twitter

Megan Everts

Shipments from China are under scrutiny for possibly using the hair of people held in internment camps to make products.

“Federal authorities in New York on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp,” reported Time.

  • Reportedly, “13 tons (11.8 metric tonnes) of hair products worth an estimated $800,000 were in the shipment” made by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd.

“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, executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade.

  • Many ethnic minorities in China “are held in internment camps and prisons where they are subjected to ideological discipline, forced to denounce their religion and language and physically abused.”
  • Rushan Abbas, an Uighur American activist “said women who use hair weaves should think about who might be making them.”
  • These detention orders “are used to hold shipping containers at the U.S. ports of entry until the agency can investigate claims of wrongdoing.”
  • Time reported that this is the second time this year that hair weaves from China have been hit with a detention order.

“Last December, Xinjiang authorities announced that the camps had closed and all the detainees had ‘graduated,’” but, “some Uighurs and Kazakhs... say their loved ones remain in detention, were sentenced to prison or transferred to forced labor in factories.”

Read more here.

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