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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China to Punish ‘Two-Faced’ Uyghur Officials in New Reward Scheme

Radio Free Asia, 26 December 2017

By Shohret Hoshur – Rewards provided by authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region to tipsters for outing would-be “terrorists” are also being offered to those reporting ethnic Uyghur officials and public figures suspected of “disloyalty” to Beijing, according to sources.

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Twelve Days in Xinjiang: How China’s Surveillance State Overwhelms Daily Life

Wall Street Journal, 20 December 2017

By Josh Chin & Clément Bürge – This city on China’s Central Asia frontier may be one of the most closely surveilled places on earth.

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Thousands Of Uighurs In China Are Being Imprisoned Without Trial

Carbonated TV, 18 December 2017

By Amna Zaman – The Chinese government is reportedly using detentions and data-driven surveillance to impose a digital police state in the country’s Xinjiang region, which is home to a majority of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority.

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Weekly Brief December 15th

World Uyghur Congress, 15 December 2017

Chinese Authorities Collect DNA from Millions of Uyghurs

It was widely reported this week that Chinese authorities have escalated their efforts to collect DNA samples and establish biometric profiles of the Uyghur people by making all Uyghurs between the ages of 12-65 give their finger prints, iris scans and blood types under the guise of a ‘Physicals for All’ public health program. The WUC congress has expressed its concern in the past over the practice of forcing Uyghurs to give their biological data in order to receive a passport, but this newest initiative represents a significant escalation.

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China collecting DNA, biometrics from millions in Xinjiang: report

CNN,  13 December 2017

By James Griffiths – Authorities in China’s far-west are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints, eye scans and blood types of millions of people aged 12 to 65, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

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Weekly Brief December 8th

World Uyghur Congress, 8 December 2017

Concerning New Counter-Espionage Rules Further Increase Powers of Chinese State Security Agents

New rules to China’s Counter-Espionage laws were adopted by the Chinese government on Wednesday, 6 December 2017. The new roles specify how China’s counter-espionage laws, which first were adopted in November 2014, should be implemented, as part of a series of new legal reforms pushed by Xi Jinping to counter perceived threats to national security.

The new rules give the Chinese state security agents sweeping new powers to arrest and investigate individuals they suspect of espionage. They give the security agents the authority to bar foreigners from entering the country if they have made negative comments about the Chinese government and to arrest and deport them if they are already in China. The new rules also widen the definition of espionage to include punishments for acts such as ‘using religion or cults to harm national security’. These WUC is very concerned with these measures. They will certainly be used to silence critics of the Chinese government domestically and abroad, as well as leading for further repression of the Uyghur people and further restrictions on religious freedom.

World Uyghur Congress Sends Letter To Canadian PM Ahead of Visit

The World Uyghur Congress sent a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, last week ahead of his anticipated visit to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Trudeau government has been relatively silent on human rights issues in the past, but has emphasised that its “quiet diplomacy” has been effective in terms of moving forward on these issues.

With ever increasing repression in China and any dissent being met with force and violence, we rely on states who to speak up about human rights. It is the duty of the international community to respectfully call out those states that fail to live up to international human rights norms.

 

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