Mass DNA Collection in the Tibet Autonomous Region from 2016–2022

Emile Dirks, a researcher from the Citizen Lab, has published a report finding that since June 2016, China’s police have conducted a mass DNA collection program in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Police have targeted men, women, and children for DNA collection outside of any ongoing criminal investigation. In some cases, police have targeted Buddhist monks. Authorities have justified mass DNA collection as a tool to fight crime, find missing people, and ensure social stability. But without checks on police powers, police in Tibet will be free to use a completed mass DNA database for whatever purpose they see fit. Based on our analysis, we believe that this program is a form of social control directed against Tibet’s people, who have long been subject to intense state surveillance and repression.

Learn more about the report in the media

The Economist | The Intercept | Axios | The Cyberwire