China testing facial-recognition surveillance system in Xinjiang – report

The Guardian, 17 January 2018

By Tom Phillips – Chinese surveillance chiefs are testing a facial-recognition system that alerts authorities when targets stray more than 300 metres from their home or workplace, as part of a surveillance push that critics say has transformed the country’s western fringes into a high-tech police state.

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Communist officials move in with Uighur Muslims to promote ‘unity’

The Times, 12 January 2018

By Jamie Fullerton – More than a million Chinese Communist officials have been ordered to move into the houses of Muslim Uighur familes in an attempt to instil pro-party values.

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Weekly Brief January 12th

World Uyghur Congress, 12 January 2018

CECC Chairs Highlight Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in East Turkestan

The two chairs of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative, issued a statement this week highlighting the deteriorating human rights situations in East Turkestan and the persecution of Uyghurs by the Chinese authorities. The statement expresses particular concern for the expansive security system and increasingly invasive surveillance tactics being used by the Chinese government, such as the mass collection of DNA from the Uyghur people, to create a biometric database to more easily track and control Uyghurs, Tibetans and Chinese dissidents. It condemned these measures as a ‘gross violation of privacy and international human rights’.

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Beijing bets on facial recognition in a big drive for total surveillance

Washington Post, 9 January 2017

By Simon Denyer – For 40-year-old Mao Ya, the facial recognition camera that allows access to her apartment house is simply a useful convenience.

“If I am carrying shopping bags in both hands, I just have to look ahead and the door swings open,” she said. “And my 5-year-old daughter can just look up at the camera and get in. It’s good for kids because they often lose their keys.”

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PRESS RELEASE: WUC CALLS ON FRENCH PRESIDENT MACRON TO RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS DURING VISIT

Press Release – For immediate release
5 January 2017

Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
+49 (0) 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

Ahead of his official visit to China next week from January 8th – 10th, the World Uyghur Congress would like to call on the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to raise human rights concerns, especially the numerous violations perpetrated against the Uyghur people, with his counterparts in Beijing.

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China probes deeper into the lives of Uyghur minority

The Globe and Mail, 29 December 2017

By Nathan VanderKlippe – The streets in China’s far western Xinjiang region are lined with surveillance cameras, even in rural villages. In some cities, police stations have been erected every 500 metres. Public buildings are surrounded with security worthy of a military outpost. Authorities use facial recognition and body scanners at highway checkstops.

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Weekly Brief December 29th

World Uyghur Congress, 29 December 2017

Collection of DNA from Uyghur People by Chinese Authorities a Major Concern

As was reported in the Pacific Standard Magazine, the actions taken by the Chinese government to gather DNA and biometric data from the Uyghur people, Chinese dissidents and other ethnic populations should be a major concern for all of the world’s citizens. The mass collection of biometric data is being used to create a massive database to more easily monitor and control the Uyghur population and to silence dissenters. This is being done on an unprecedented scale and has been assisted by an American firm Thermo Fischer Scientific. This dystopian and repressive approach will surely have impacts beyond those on the Uyghur and Chinese populations. The rest of the world should be very concerned about what is occurring, as other repressive government may soon follow China’s example.

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AMERICANS SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT CHINA’S LATEST PRIVACY VIOLATION

Pacific Standard, 21 December 2017

By Massoud Hayoun – Local governments in the far-Western Chinese region of Xinjiang began collecting biometric data from residents in February, Human Rights Watch reported last week. The HRW report cites directives found primarily on local government websites, some of which have since been taken down. The biometric data included DNA samples, fingerprints, and iris scans, often collected during physical examinations, billed to the public as a social benefit designed to uplift the region’s economically distressed residents.

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