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China Confiscates Every Single Muslims’ Passports in Xinjiang

Posted by Author on June 29, 2007

Radio Free Asia, 2007.06.27-

HONG KONG—Authorities in northwestern China have begun confiscating the passports of Muslims, mostly ethnic Uyghurs, in an apparent bid to prevent them from making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, local residents and officials say.

An officer who answered the phone at the Tengritagh district public security bureau [police department] of the Xinjiang regional capital, Urumqi, said local residents were required to “register” their passports with local neighborhood committees, the basic building blocks of social control in China.

“The authorities of local residential offices are collecting the passports,” he told RFA’s Uyghur service.

“Local residential offices are collecting the passports in order to register them…The authorities will keep the passports for the public. If they want to go to other countries, they can come to fetch their passports. The authorities will give the passports back to them accordingly.”

Officials working together

“The [passports] will become invalid if they do not hand them in.”

An official at a neighborhood committee in a town near the city of Kashgar confirmed the move, adding that passports were being collected only from Muslims, especially the Uyghur people.

“Today is the 18th,” the official said. “We were told to collect them within five days, and we’ve just started this afternoon … the Muslims’ and the Uyghur people’s passports.”

“I think the word is that it is to prevent some problems, like preventing people from going on the Hajj pilgrimage. So, that is why they are collecting [them],” the official said.

He said local governments, provincial government, and the police were cooperating to accomplish the task.

“Here what’s happened. They’ve ordered us to collect all the passports within five days and the authorities will finish investigating and registering the passports within 20-odd days. The authorities are not only collecting a few people’s passports…They are collecting all the passports. We do not really know what is happening in other parts of Xinjiang,” he added.

“Every Muslim who owns a passport must hand it to the authorities.” (…… more details from Radio Free Asia’s report )

One Response to “China Confiscates Every Single Muslims’ Passports in Xinjiang”

  1. ah human rights, yuh gotta love em

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