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China extends DNA sample collection to Tibet under ‘crime detection’ program, had earlier done so for Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang

The blatant violation of human rights is not limited to the adult population but has been extended to even kindergarten children. Reportedly, the DNA collection drive began in 2019 as part of a policing campaign and involved inspection, investigation and mediation (also called three greats).

China has begun collecting DNA samples from residents of Tibet, without their consent, under the pretext of crime detection, reported Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The blatant violation of human rights is not limited to the adult population but has been extended to even kindergarten children. Reportedly, the DNA collection drive began in 2019 as part of a policing campaign and involved inspection, investigation and mediation (also called three greats).

According to HRW, DNA was collected from residents in at least 7 villages, 2 townships, 2 towns, 2 counties and one prefecture of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). Besides, two government tenders were floated for the creation of local DNA databases.

The Human Rights Watch noted that the residents of Tibet, forcibly occupied and annexed by China 70 years ago, could not decline to provide their DNA samples.

HRW (China Director) Sophie Richardson said, “The Chinese government is already subjecting Tibetans to pervasive repression. Now the authorities are literally taking blood without consent to strengthen their surveillance capabilities.”

“A report from Lhasa municipality in April 2022 stated that blood samples for DNA collection were being systematically collected from children at kindergartens and from other local residents,” HRW noted.

“A report from a Tibetan township in Qinghai province in December 2020 stated that DNA was being collected from all boys aged 5 and above,” it further added. And it was undertaken without the approval of their caregivers, thus violating their privacy.

Given that DNA information is sensitive in nature, modern democracies have regulated and narrowed the scope of its collection. However, in Communist China, with little regard for human rights, it has been used to oppress the Uyghur community in Xinjiang province.

As early as 2017, the Chinese government had built a database of blood types and iris scans of 11 million Uyghur residents between the age of 12 and 65. According to Human Rights Watch, China has created a national database of 40 million people since the 2000s.

“Coercing people to give blood samples, or taking blood samples without informed, meaningful and freely given consent or justification, can violate an individual’s privacy, dignity and right to bodily integrity,” it emphasised.

Persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China

In the Xinjiang province of China, nearly 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities have been reportedly detained in a network of detention centres since 2017. By stating that the camps are vocational training schools, Beijing has refuted numerous reports that it has tortured Muslims in Xinjiang.

The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) objective is to integrate Uyghurs into the dominant Han Chinese ethnicity by stripping them of their religious and ethnic identities. While Uyghur Muslims face re-educational camps, forced labour, and digital surveillance, including their children being indoctrinated in orphanages.

The CPC restricts any news revealing the horrors committed against the Uyghurs in the detention centres in order to counteract scathing foreign findings. Several foreign journalists covering the plight of the Uyghurs have been expelled from China, while academics, activists, and survivors who try to expose China’s deceit have been mocked and harassed.

Those who speak out against China’s illegal detention of Uyghurs are either intimidated or executed.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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