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German firm BASF to pull out of East Turkistan after Uyghur abuse claims

The German chemicals producer BASF has said it will withdraw from its two joint ventures in East Turkistan, after media reports about alleged human rights abuses relating to its partner company, which BASF’s CEO said crossed a red line.

In a statement on Friday, BASF said that while “regular due diligence measures including internal and external audits have not found any evidence of human rights violations in the two joint ventures”, the recent reports “indicate activities inconsistent with BASF’s values”.

On Monday, a group of politicians from around the world urged BASF to withdraw from Xinjiang, a region in north-west China where there are widespread reports of state-sponsored human rights abuses.

The politicians’ letter followed reports in German media that people employed by BASF’s Chinese partner company, Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry, also known as Markor Chemical, accompanied Chinese state officials on home visits to Uyghur households as part of a government initiative that human rights groups have said is used to spy on people and indoctrinate them.

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