Religious Persecution in China: The Presence of Checkpoints

In the sixth in a series of videos exposing the attacks on freedom of religion or belief in China, MP David Anderson addresses use of checkpoints in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region:

In a previous segment, I spoke about the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China, focusing on the presence of `re-education` camps in Xinjiang. Today, I will be focusing on presence of check points in the region.

South West Xinjiang is populated with 80% Uyghurs and has the highest concentration of check points. There are in some places up to four to five check points for every kilometer in the region. Uyghur Muslims must go through these multiple times a day.

These check points are specifically targeted at Uyghur Muslims. In a Chinese region where it is majority Han, there are close to no check points.

At a large checkpoint in Hotan, Xinjiang people are ordered off buses and ordered to go to a booth where their identify cards and irises are scanned. They are photographed and fingerprinted. Women have to remove their headscarves. In some cases, contents on Uighur’s phones are downloaded for analysis by authorities.

These checkpoints along with heavy surveillance technology enable authorities to gather information and control the activities of Uyghur communities.

Government reports show that $11.85 billion was spent on ‘public security’ last year in Xinjiang. This is double that of what was budgeted for health care. It is 11% higher than money spent on social welfare, and 80% higher than what was spent on education.

No people group should have to go through invasive surveillance and physical check points just because of their religious beliefs. The presence of check points in China is an example of how repressive China’s “sinicization” policies have become.

Click here to learn more about freedom of religion or belief in China