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2 years ago|39 views

China using DNA to track Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
XINJIANG, CHINA — Chinese authorities in Xinjiang are collecting DNA samples along with other biometric data from all residents in the region between the agesof 12 and 65, according to Human Rights Watch.
According to the New York Times, China is trying to force the country's predominantly Muslim Uighurs to become more subservient to the party. The government has detained up to a million people in "re-education" camps.
According to Fortune, part of the surveillance effort is to collect biometric data such as iris scans, fingerprints, voice scans, and DNA.
According to the New York Times, human right groups and Uighur activists say a comprehensive DNA database could be used to chase down Uighurs who resist conforming to the campaign.
To improve their DNA tracking and testing capabilities, China's police purchased genetic sequencing equipment from Massachusetts biotechnology firm Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Chinese authorities also used genetic material from people around the world that was provided by prominent Yale University geneticist, Kenneth Kidd, to compare to Uighur DNA.
According to the New York Times, on Wednesday, Thermo Fisher said it would no longer sell its equipment in Xinjiang.
According to Dr. Kidd, he was unaware how his material and expertise were being used. He said he thought Chinese scientists were acting within scientific norms that require informed consent by DNA donors.
According to China's official propaganda agency Xinhua nearly 36 million people in Xinjiang took part in the program called "Physicals for All" from 2016 to 2017.

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