A file image of a Uyghur family at a bazaar in Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region. A report says that Uyghurs of all ages have been required to undergo medical exams and DNA sampling. (Photo by Greg Baker/AFP)
No reason has been provided why the vast majority of Muslim Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang region have been being given mandatory health examinations.
Uyghurs speaking to RFA's Uyghur Service said they were pressured or in some cases "forced" to have medical exams that began in September last year and finished in March.
It remains unclear why the checkups were carried out on 90 percent of the Uyghur population of 17.5 million people. A Han Chinese official at county level told county told RFA nobody at his level knew why the examinations were being done.
"All we did was implement the order that came from the top to examine everyone," the official said.
An anonymous Uyghur official from southern Xinjiang, said all staff in her department were required to have an examination. She said that her husband's examination was organized by his work unit. Their children's examination was done at school.
"When they filled out the forms for the checkup, our ethnicity had to be listed clearly, as well as our religious affiliation," she said, adding that her work unit had completed the paperwork for her.
"However, they never showed us the results [of the tests]. I don't know if people have been demanding the results or not."
The report included several other examples of tests done on Uyghurs but no reasoning given or test results offered.
The report said that tests that involved examinations of the heart, blood, DNA, urine, and blood sugar using electrocardiograms, x-rays, and ultrasounds.
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