July 21, 2020, 06.20 PM

Veterans of the camps and family members say those held are forced, often with the threat of violence, to denounce their religion, culture, and language and swear loyalty to Communist Party leader and head of state Xi Jinping.

The companies cited Monday include clothing manufacturers and technology suppliers.

Two companies cited, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI and Beijing Liuhe BGI, are subsidiaries of BGI Group, one of the world's biggest gene-sequencing companies.

The Commerce Department said they were “conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression” of Muslim minorities.

Human rights groups say security forces in Xinjiang appear to be creating a genetic database with samples from millions of people including through using blood and other samples subjects are compelled to provide.

Nationwide, authorities have gathered genetic information from the Chinese public for almost two decades that the government says is for use in law enforcement.

Read also: President Joko Widodo Takes Back Control of State Intelligence Agency

Phone calls Tuesday to BGI's public relations and investor relations departments weren't answered.

Three of the companies cited were identified by investigations by AP in 2018 and 2020 as being implicated in forced labor.

One company, Nanchang O-Film Tech, supplies screens and lenses to Apple, Samsung and other technology companies.

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