China has began the logistical groundwork for the mass collection of DNA from Uighur Muslims of the Xinjiang region, human rights observers have said.
Police in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region confirmed to The Associated Press that they are in the process of buying more than $8.7 million worth of equipment to analyse DNA samples.
Human Rights Watch observers said they have witnessed evidence of almost $3 million in extra purchases related to DNA testing.
They added that such a collection programme could be used for authorities to justify increase their political control.
The decision comes after Chinese authorities allegedly required Xinjiang residents to submit DNA samples in 2015, as well as voice records and fingerprints.
Chinese authorities who are determined to counter “Islamist extremism” among Uighur Muslim have implemented very draconian measures to fulfil their political objectives.
Policies included banning women from wearing the hijab and niqab, prohibiting men from keeping beards, forcing Muslims in the public sector not to fast in Ramadan and mandatory satellite tracking devices for vehicles.