ChineseProvince’sResidentsForcedtoGivePassportstoPolice

ChineseauthoritieshavebeenconfiscatingpassportsofresidentsofnorthwestXinjiangprovince,claimingthemeasureservestocombatterrorism.

Theirconfiscatedpassportswillbeheldbypolice.

“Anyonewhoneedsthepassportmustapplytothepolicestation,”apoliceofficialtoldtheGlobalTimes,astate-fundednewspaper,onThursday.Butheassuredresidentsthatpeoplewithoutcriminalbackgroundswouldnotbeaffectedandwouldbeabletoeasilygettheirpassportsbackshouldtheyneedtotravel.

Anyonewithcriminalor”suspicious”records,however,maynotbeabletogoabroad,theGlobalTimesreported.

HumanRightsWatchcondemnedthenewpolicyinastatement,claimingthegovernmenthadnocrediblethreatonwhichtobaseit.

ManyoftheMuslimminorityinXinjiangsaytheyfacediscrimination.Newpoliciesaside,gettingapassportismoredifficultinXinjiangthaninotherpartsofChina,givenBeijing’santi-terrorismcampaignthere.

XinjianghasalargeMuslimpopulation.TheregionbordersPakistan,AfghanistanandnorthwesternIndiaandisseenasafrontinChina’sbattleagainstterrorismandreligiousextremism.

Source:Voice of America