There have been alarming reports of atrocities inflicted upon the Uighur Muslims in China’s mass concentration camps. Uighur Muslims are majority-Muslim Turkic population living in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in northwest China. While the Uighur Muslims are a stigmatized minority in the country, they are trapped under continuous surveillance of the police that views the Uighur identity as a hindrance to Han ethnic supremacy.
If this appears disturbing to you, then you have known only a part of their plans. Reportedly, China has come up with bizarre developments recently to put the Uighur ethnic minority under uninterrupted scrutiny and surveillance. Well, Beijing has come up with an unexpected tool to put monitor the tracks of the Uighurs as a part of their scrutiny.
China is now using biometric technology to put surveillance on homes of the Uighur Muslims. Apparently, authorities in Beijing have installed ‘QR codes’ on the front doors of the homes. These scannable QR codes contain their personal information and are supposed to keep a track on the members of this ethnic minority in the Xinjiang province. Reminds anyone of Orwell’s 1984?
China has installed approximately 40,000 facial recognition cameras across the Muslim-majority region over the past one year. Moreover, the authorities forced the Uighur Muslims to download a mobile application that will monitor their mobile phone activities. They have also built several databases of their fingerprints and DNA samples to follow their trail.
According to Humans Rights Watch organization:
“Every home, where one enters, there’s a QR code. Then every two days or every day, the cadres come and scan the QR code, so they know how many people live here.”
Chinese authorities have also forced the Muslims residents to put QR codes on household tools including kitchen knives and craft knives that could be used as potential weapons.
While the authorities justify this outrageous system will help in controlling the population and preventing terrorism, the Human Rights Watch have expressed their discontent. They are stating that the OR codes are a way to monitor the Uighur Muslims in order to repress the expression of Uighur identity including that community’s culture, language, and religion.
Reportedly, the United Nations have also expressed their concerns towards the actions of China in forcing more than 1 million Uighurs into the internment camps in Xinjiang.
What are your thoughts about this step by China?