søndag 9. mai 2021

Chinese Government Documents Provide New Details on a Small Xinjiang Town’s Extensive System of Surveillance

Sometime in the summer of 2019, Vera Zhou, a young college student from the University of Washington, forgot to pretend that she was from the non-Muslim majority group in China, the Han. At a checkpoint at the mall, she put her ID on the scanner and looked into the camera. Immediately, an alarm sounded and the guards manning the equipment pulled her aside. That was when she remembered that when she ventured outside the jurisdiction of her police precinct she should pretend that she had forgotten her ID and hold her head up high, playing the part of a wealthy, urban Han college student who couldn’t be bothered by mall security and face scans.

In fact, as much as Vera could pass as Han—she liked to wear chunky silver earrings, oversized sunglasses, and dress in black—her ID card said she was Hui, a Chinese Muslim group that makes up around 1 million of the population of the 15 million Muslims who are the majority of the population in the Xinjiang region. Now, a surveillance system connected to local police detected she had ventured out of bounds.