The Chinese Communist Party has been gathering DNA samples from people living in Tibet, including children as young as five, according to a new Human Rights Watch report.
In the new report released Monday, the group presented new evidence showing a “systematic DNA collection drive” occurring in the country. The measure has been described by the Chinese Communist Party as part of a “crime detection” drive, though critics view the databases that have formed as a result of the drive as a means for social control.
“There is no publicly available evidence suggesting people can decline to participate or that police have credible evidence of criminal conduct that might warrant such collection,” Human Rights Watch explained.
The DNA collection efforts in started in 2019 for a policing campaign dubbed the “three greats” -inspection, investigation and mediation. During that same time period, the Chinese regime was also seeking individuals to construct DNA databases in the region.
Publicly available police reports and state-run media article evidence DNA collection drives in 14 distinct localities across every prefecture-level region in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). The report also described collection drives on Tibetan regions beyond the borders of the TAR.
The campaign was described as “intrusive policing”, including the collection of samples from all residents of certain villages. In some cases, children as young as five were included in the databases.
“No village must be omitted from a township, no household must be omitted from a village, and no person must be omitted from a household,” explains the report.
In April, for example, police in Nyemo county collected DNA from entire classes of children at three separate kindergartens without any consent from parents.
Tibet has been under control of Beijing since it was annexed more than 70 years ago, though Tibetans reject the Chinese Communist Party’s territorial claims.
Viewing regions like Tibet and Xinjiang province as a threat to its ruling authority, the Chinese Communist Party has increased its efforts to clamp down on the areas, often using technology to do so. In the past, companies that have facilitated the repression of people in Tibet and Xinjiang have had ties to Hunter Biden and Anthony Fauci.