The World Uyghur Congress said that over the past three months, more than 7,000 Uyghurs in Xinjiang had been fined by Chinese authorities for reading the Koran at home.

The fines imposed by Chinese authorities against those who do not comply with the regulations of the government range from 50 to 5,000 yuan (nearly $7 to almost $700).

RFA reported that those fined include women, children, adolescents, and the elderly. 

Chinese authorities have detained more than 80 people on charges of “using social media to spread illegal religious information during the pandemic.”

The authorities also seized a large quantity of the Koran, prayer mats, and other items related to religious practices.

The RFA reporter called the Hotan District Public Security Bureau to ask about their punishment for those who read the Koran but received no reply.

After being questioned privately, a police officer from the Hotan County Public Security Bureau confirmed that citizens could not read the Koran at home.

Meanwhile, a policeman from Kashgar District Police said by phone that people who read the Koran at home should be fined depending on the situation. 

After being asked if the police had detained some people because they practiced religion, the policeman hung up the phone.
Article 36 of the Chinese constitution states that citizens “enjoy the freedom of religious belief.” Therefore, if punishing citizens for reading the Koran in Xinjiang is real, the Chinese authorities are doing it against the constitution.

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