China uses big data to select Muslims for arrest in Xinjiang: HRW

Al Jareeza

Rights group says Chinese policing programme selects people for arrest for ‘everyday, lawful’ behaviour.

A Chinese police officer standing near what is officially called a 'vocational education centre' in Yining, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, September 4, 2018 [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters]
A Chinese police officer standing near what is officially called a ‘vocational education centre’ in Yining, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, September 4, 2018 [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters]

9 Dec 2020

A big-data program in China’s Xinjiang “arbitrarily selects” Muslims for detention, flagging behaviour such as wearing a veil, studying the Quran or going on the Hajj pilgrimage as reasons for arrest, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In a new report on Wednesday, the rights group said it analysed a leaked list of more than 2,000 detainees in Xinjiang’s Aksu prefecture and found that the programme – known as the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) – also flagged people for their relationships, their communications, their travel histories, or for being related to someone the authorities consider suspicious.

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