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Chinese Embassy in Pakistan Collects Personal Data on Muslim Students from China; Many Disappear after Called Back to China

The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan is now comprehensively collecting personal information on local Chinese Muslim students. At present, more than 400 students have surrendered their information, but it was against their will. A few years ago, Chinese embassies in Egypt and other countries had already registered Muslim students. There were incidents in which Muslim students were repatriated and called back to China after which they disappeared. People familiar with the situation revealed that their personal information had been shared with security authorities.

Students from International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) broke the story on January 2nd. The collected information included [the Muslim student’s] passport number, WeChat account, phone number, address in both China and Pakistan, and their major area of study. The “Chinese Students Association in Pakistan, IIUI Chapter,” implemented the procedure. According to a notice circulated on the a Wechat group of IIUI students, IIUI’s Chinese Student Association required that, by New Year’s eve, Chinese students submit registration forms, which were to be submitted to the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan for archival registration. If anyone refused to submit the registration form, the Chinese Embassy would not process their graduation certification. The registration form also printed a warning: “if there is any concealment of the information, the registrant will bear the consequences.”

Huang Hao, vice chairman of the Chinese Students Association at IIUI told Radio Free Asia that the round of registration involved 700 to 800 Chinese students at IIUI. He also acknowledged that the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan had appointed him to do this. However, Huang refused to answer questions about the purpose of the collection.

At present, there are seven or eight hundred Chinese students studying at IIUI. Most of them are Muslim students from Ningxia, Xinjiang, Qinhai, Henan, and Yunnan provinces. Some study Islamic philosophy and Islamic history, others study Arabic, economics, and education.

Ma Ju, a Muslim current affairs commentator now living in the United States, told Radio Free Asia that, as early as the summer of 2016, in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Chinese embassy registered local Muslim students who held a Chinese passport. In July 2017, the Deputy Minister of Public Security traveled to Cairo and worked with the Egyptian military government to arrest approximately 75 Chinese Muslim students after which they repatriate 52 students. After the incident, all local Chinese students were registered and their data were transmitted back to China. Many students disappeared after local police called them back. In addition, the embassy took control of information about Chinese Muslim students at several universities in Jordan.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 5, 2019