China collecting DNA from Xinjiang residents

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An international human rights organization has found that China is gathering DNA from a region in the far west that's home to a much-oppressed ethnic minority.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is home to about 10 million Uyghurs, a Muslim Turkic group with a long history of discord with the mainland. As such, it's one of the most tightly controlled parts of China.

According to Human Rights Watch, authorities in Xinjiang are now collecting DNA samples and biometric data from all residents aged 12 to 65.

Police officers collect photos, fingerprints, household registration data, and iris scans during home visits or at designated collection points.

Blood types and DNA are gathered through a government health exam called "Physicals for All". Data is transmitted to a database and linked to the individual's national ID number.

People originally from Xinjiang who have moved to other parts of China are also required to submit their information locally.

Over 18 million people have participated in the physical as of November 2017. Though "Physicals for AlL" is a supposedly voluntary, residents are expected and often pressured to take part.

Human Rights Watch has slammed the mandatory databanking as a gross violation of human rights, adding that carrying it out under the guise of a free healthcare program makes it even more disturbing.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. DNA samples, biometrics collected from Xinjiang residents
2. Police officers collect photos, household registration information, biometric data
3. DNA, blood types collected using free physical health exams
4. Xinjiang residents who have moved away also need to submit their data

VOICEOVER (in English):

"According to Human Rights Watch, authorities in Xinjiang are now collecting DNA samples and biometric data from all residents aged 12 to 65."

"Police officers collect photos, fingerprints, household registration data, and iris scans during home visits or at designated collection points."

"Blood types and DNA are gathered through a government health exam called 'Physicals for All'. Data is transmitted to a database and linked to the individual's national ID number."

"People originally from Xinjiang who have moved to other parts of China are also required to submit their information locally."

SOURCES:
Human Rights Watch
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/13/china-minority-region-collects-dna-millions