Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong
Wednesday 13 December 2017 04.53 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 13 December 2017 11.41 GMT
Chinese authorities are collecting DNA samples, fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident in a far western region, Human Rights Watch has said.
Officials are also building a database of iris scans and blood types of everyone aged between 12 and 65 in Xinjiang, adding to controls in a place some experts have called an “open-air prison”.
The region is home to over 11 million Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic minority, and is occasionally hit by bouts of violence.
The data can be used for “surveillance of persons because of ethnicity, religion, opinion or other protected exercise of rights like free speech”, according to Human Rights Watch.
Part of the collection is being done through government-provided medical checkups, and it is unclear if patients are aware the exam is also designed to transmit biometric data to the police.
With thanks to Rose: