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China steps up Tibet DNA collection in 'rights violation': report

Human Rights Watch says genetic samples include taking blood from kindergartners

A Chinese flag flies above surveillance cameras in Tibet's capital, Lhasa. Authorities have defended their DNA collection campaign as a crime-fighting tool.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China is committing a "serious rights violation" by expanding DNA collection efforts across Tibet, including taking blood samples from children as young as 5 years old, a Human Rights Watch report said Monday.

The report, which draws on media reports and open-source documents, said the stepped up campaign has seen authorities collect genetic samples from at least half a million people in just one municipality since authorities kicked off the mass collection drive in July 2019.

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