Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Jon Date - jon.date@digacommunications.com / +44 (0)7533 011983

Eoin Dubsky - eoin@sumofus.org / +31641636410

Mandie Mckeown - mandie@tibetnetwork.org / +44 (0)7748 158618

Press Release

Apple Suppressing Human Rights Critics, Shareholders Warn

WASHINGTON -

Apple has failed to enact the human rights policy it introduced in August, and has suppressed a shareholder proposal raising human rights concerns, according to a coalition of shareholders, campaigners and Tibetan, Uyghur and Hongkonger human rights defenders.

The tech giant introduced the new policy following shareholder pressure over its respect for human rights in China, including blocking apps like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) from China’s App Store that help users evade censorship and surveillance. Shareholders filed a new proposal calling on Apple to report on how it is implementing the human rights policy, but Apple’s lawyers took action to prevent the proposal being discussed or voted on. Over 150 civil society organizations representing over 18 million people worldwide today wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook demanding Apple address human rights concerns.

Pema Doma, Students for a Free Tibet said: “By blocking the shareholder vote, Apple is trying to silence us. The company wants to brush Chinese, Uyghur, Tibetan and Hongkonger human rights under the carpet, and continues to bow to the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship demands. Apple’s hypocrisy in taking credit for its human rights policy but not backing it up with actions can’t go on any longer.”

In its human rights policy, Apple committed to respect freedom of information and expression as human rights, as well as protect people in its supply chain. However, only last month Apple was caught lobbying to undermine a bill designed to stop Uyghur forced labour in East Turkistan.

Vicky Wyatt, SumOfUs said: “We welcomed Apple’s human rights policy when it was first introduced, but it’s now clear those commitments were nothing but empty words. Apple says it values free expression, but now it’s doubling down on censorship: Apple bows to Beijing’s requests to censor its own customers, and is now trying to suppress its shareholders as well.”

Zumretay Arkin, World Uyghur Congress said: “Apple’s human rights record is utterly shameful. Apple was left isolated when other tech companies spoke against the draconian Hong Kong Security Law, its transparency report is positively opaque in comparison to Google’s, and only last month Apple was caught lobbying to undermine a bill designed to stop forced Uyghur labour in East Turkistan, despite adopting its first human rights policy. Apple is making promises it cannot keep.”

Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, Shareholder Association for Research and Education said: “On behalf of the long-term Apple shareholders we represent, we had hoped to see the company take stronger action in implementing its human rights policy. There are a number of steps Apple can take while still upholding local laws, including being much more transparent about the requests it gets from governments and the actions it is taking to push back on those. When a company has amassed the power Apple has, the expectations are increased accordingly.”

Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·


House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·


As US Makes Case for Extradition, Global Demand Rises For Assange's Immediate Freedom

"Virtually no one responsible for alleged U.S. war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable... and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail."

Julia Conley ·


Wyden's New Billionaires Income Tax Plan Applauded as Step Toward Justice

"For too long, families have been denied basic supports... while billionaires evade taxes on obscene amounts of wealth. This dynamic is economically dangerous and morally unsustainable."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo