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Human Rights Watch says China’s Xinjiang citizens are monitored by police app

In a new report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that Xinjiang police are using a mobile app to illegally gathering information about people’s lawful behaviour and using it for mass surveillance and arbitrary detention of Turkic Muslims.

Photograph: Human Rights Watch

HRW “reverse engineered” the police app that officials use to connect to the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), to find out what types of behaviours and people this mass surveillance system targets.

HRW's report highlights new evidence about the mass surveillance in Xinjiang where the government has subjected the 13 million Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims to arbitrary detention, forced political indoctrination, restrictions on movement and religious oppression.

“The Chinese government should immediately shutdown the IJOP platform and delete all the data it has collected from individuals in Xinjiang,” HRW said.

The rights group has also urged concerned foreign governments to impose targeted sanctions.

The report comes as China faces increasing scrutiny over its treatment of Turkic Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, spoke with the Chinese authorities on Monday during his visit to raise the plight of the Uighur Muslims who have been arbitrarily detained in detention camps in Xinjiang. Credible sources indicate that up to one million people are being held in "re-education" camps. 

Read the full report here