New Chinese Policy Forces Marginalized Uyghur People to Give Up Passports

The distressing news of America (shamefully) electing New York billionaire Donald Trump as its next President at the beginning of this month has already traveled the world over. Since the election results, there has been an upsurge of attacks against already marginalized groups within the so-called “land of the free”: Immigrants, Hispanics, women, blacks, Muslims, and gays, to name a few.

This is not only an “American” problem; whole groups of people around the globe are constantly being discriminated against, abused, or worse – and have been throughout history.

And China – one of the world’s most notorious violators of human rights –  is certainly no exception. China’s Communist government has begun confiscating passports from a marginalized ethnic group in the Xinjiang northwest region of China.

The Uighur people, who make up 45 percent of the population in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, mainly practice Islam. The Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims, and they fear that their traditional culture will be destroyed.

The province has seen some unrest and occasional violence, which the Chinese government blames on Uighur muslims, claiming they are inspired or helped by foreign terrorists. Uighur leaders have denied any involvement in the attacks.

Last June, in a blatant act of discrimination, Xinjiang police put in place a regulation requiring all people in Xinjiang provide DNA samples and “other biological data” when applying for travel documents, according to BBC News.

The most recent policies order all residents in the region to hand in their travel documents (passports, etc.) to the police for “safekeeping”.

BBC’s Stephen McDonell in Beijing says that “all residents must now apply for permission to leave the country before they can retrieve their passports.”

The BBC article continues, “The World Uyghur Congress says that although the new measures are ostensibly aimed at all residents, they will in effect target the Uighur community.”

China’s discriminatory and hateful actions are all done “in the name of anti-terrorism”. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.

The non-profit organization Human Rights Watch has deemed China’s new regulations as a direct violation of freedom of movement, a human right articulated in Article 13 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Precautionary actions” such as the ones seen in Xinjiang are lies; they don’t help the world. No, they just help spread the venom. We need to stop the marginalization. Stop the injustice. Stop the bigotry. Stop the hate.