China is building a massive DNA database of citizens it considers a threat, says Human Rights Watch

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China has compiled a database with the DNA information of more than 40 million citizens the government considers a threat, according to Human Rights Watch.

The human rights watchdog said the Ministry of Public Security is creating biometric profiles for people including political activists, migrant workers, students and Uighur Muslims.

In some cases, authorities have demanded DNA samples before processing documents such as residency permits, ID cards, and even passports.

Last year, police in Xinjiang province required all passport applicants to submit their DNA. This came shortly after Xinjiang police budgeted the equivalent of nearly $12 million for biometric testing kits.

Xinjiang province in the far west of China is home to 10 million Uighur Muslims and has a long history of state repression.

Human Rights Watch said police in China have wide-ranging powers that make it difficult to refuse giving a DNA sample. The country also has no privacy rights and lacks an independent judiciary.

The human rights watchdog said China’s DNA database violates ordinary citizens’ right to privacy. Similar DNA systems have been outlawed elsewhere, such as in the European Union.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. DNA database contains 40 million profiles
2. Police target activists, migrant workers, students, Uighurs
3. DNA samples required for documents such as passports
4. Depiction of Chinese police power, lack of privacy rights, no independent judiciary

VOICEOVER (in English):

“According to Human Rights Watch, China’s Ministry of Public Security has compiled a database with the DNA information of more than 40 million citizens.”

“The human rights watchdog says police are creating biometric profiles for people the government considers a threat, including political activists, migrant workers, students and Uighur Muslims.”

“In some cases, authorities have demanded DNA samples before processing documents such as residency permits, ID cards, and even passports.”

SOURCES: Human Rights Watch, Quartz
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/15/china-police-dna-database-threatens-privacy
https://qz.com/984400/china-is-creating-a-massive-orwellian-dna-database-to-construct-harmonic-society/