Ramadhan in China
- China is trying to prevent people from fasting during Ramadan in the predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang.
- According to the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), officials in the region ordered all restaurants to remain open and a series of measures have been put in place seemingly designed to prevent people observing the holy month.
- The region is dominated by the ethnically distinct Uyghur people, a group who have suffered years of repression as Beijing has tried to wipe out religious expression and all forms of allegiance to institutions other than the Communist party.
- The State is forcing party activists to do marathon 24-hour shifts on guard in public buildings which make forgoing food and drink almost impossible.
- The authorities have tried to curtail observation of Ramadan, which runs from 26 May to 24 June this year, for several years but this time it coincides with the government’s increasingly draconian measures to crack down on religious expression.
- In March it banned burqas and “abnormal” beards, and a month later banned Islamic baby names.
- Earlier this month it was revealed that police in the region had purchased $8.7m (£6.7m) worth of equipment to analyse DNA from its citizens.
- Last year, Uyghurs reported that officials were asking for DNA samples, fingerprints and voice records when they applied for a passport or to go abroad.