According to a report from Human Rights Watch on Monday, September 5, the Chinese communist regime is collecting mass DNAs of residents across the Tibet region.
The report noted the DNA collections of almost all age groups, ranging from kindergarten to children aged five and above. And residents’ blood is collected without consent.
All seven municipalities in Tibet Autonomous Region are subject to these mass DNA collections.
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said that, “The Chinese government is already subjecting Tibetans to pervasive repression.”
She added, “Now the authorities are literally taking blood without consent to strengthen their surveillance capabilities.”
The regime cited “detect various illegal cases” or “crack down on illegal and criminal elements” as justification for the collection.
However, the report said, “The authorities’ stated use for this data—crime detection—does not appear to constitute a legitimate, proportionate purpose that serves the child’s best interest.”
The DNA collection is designed to strengthen China’s grass-roots social intensive governance system in Tibet.
The report said that beginning in 2019, police in Chamdo municipality, one of the seven prefectures in Tibet, implemented a year-long collection of fingerprints and DNA from residents to set up a database for its entire population.
The police were told “not to miss a [single] village or monastery, and not to miss a [single] household or person” in the area. So far, 69% of data on the population in Chamdo municipality have been collected.
According to the report, mass DNA collection of Tibet residents began in 2013 in the form of free physical exams to collect blood. The program was expanded to the rest of the country in 2017.
China invaded and annexed Tibet in 1950. Beijing claimed the invasion was a “peaceful liberation” from the theocratic rule. The region is one of the most restricted areas in China. The regime considers Tibet and Taiwan as major issues that cannot be compromised.
Human rights activists, foreign journalists, and diplomats are prohibited from entering the region independently.