Report: China Phone Monitoring Targets Uyghurs
According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published on Thursday, Chinese authorities monitor the phones of ethnic minority Uyghurs, with a list of 50K known multimedia files used to flag violent extremism. Possession of the Quran is reportedly enough to trigger a police interrogation.
- According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published on Thursday, Chinese authorities monitor the phones of ethnic minority Uyghurs, with a list of 50K known multimedia files used to flag violent extremism. Possession of the Quran is reportedly enough to trigger a police interrogation.1
- The list includes alleged "violent and terrorist" content from militant groups like the Islamic State but also allegedly includes material from organizations that promote the identity or self-determination of the mostly Muslim Uyghurs from the far-west Xinjiang region.2
- According to HRW, these organizations include the separatist East Turkestan independence movement, the World Uyghur Congress exile group, and the US government-funded news outlet Radio Free Asia. Other banned material allegedly includes information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, readings from the Quran, and Islamic songs.3
- HRW's analysis found that among 1k files flagged by police from 11.2M searches of more than 1M phones between 2017 and 2018, 57% of the content deemed problematic was ordinary religious material, 9% showed violence, and 4% called for violence.4
- A leaked list of 2k detainees at a re-education facility in Aksu prefecture in 2018 also reportedly showed that 10% were detained for downloading alleged "violent and terrorist" multimedia or having a connection to someone who downloaded it.3
- Beijing, which launched its "Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism" in 2014, denies committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang and defends its re-education centers as important tools "to combat violent extremism" and alleviate poverty.2
Sources: 1Human Rights Watch, 2Al Jazeera, 3Archive, and 4Wirefan.
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by Human Rights Watch. The Chinese government has surveilled and detained Uyghurs simply due to their religion. This has nothing to do with national security or fighting terrorism and everything to do with clamping down on minorities who wish to be free from the CCP regime. Countries concerned by these findings should identify the technology companies involved in this illegal surveillance and take appropriate action against them.
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. Nations with an anti-China agenda have consistently concocted misinformation about what's really happening in Xinjiang. The PRC's policies aren't about human rights or religion; they're about combating violent terrorism and radicalization. As Washington intensifies its aggressive stance, its government-funded human rights organizations are fabricating stories about Uyghur oppression to build anti-China sentiment around the world.