Population Data Collection Forms 人口信息采集表


In Xinjiang, every resident is required to fill out one or more Population Data Collection Forms (人口信息采集表). Tahir Hamut Izgil, a prominent Uyghur poet, filmmaker, and activist, brought a copy of this form by hand when he fled the region in 2017. 

The Population Data Collection form contains nine parts: basic information; activity permission; religious practices; passport usage; information regarding stability; driver’s license and automobile usage; critical signs; critical information; and categorization. The information collected by the form is then used by the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) to mark individuals with a respective “threat level.” Izgil notes that individuals are often categorized by a colour system in which “red for those deemed “dangerous,” and yellow for “suspicious…”. Categorization of individuals based on “threat level” coupled with intense surveillance has become commonplace throughout the region. 

The form marks an individual in several categorical systems on the right margin. “Critical Signs” (重点标签) marks whether or not an individual is a part of the targeted population, detained personnel, a target of IJOP, or a relative of such people. “Critical Information” (关键信息) assesses an individual via ten categories listed throughout the form: whether or not the person is Uyghur; unemployed; between the ages of 15-55; holds a passport; prays every day; has religious knowledge; has visited one or more of the 26 key terrorism-related countries; taught children at home; overstayed a visa; has international contacts.” These categories are worth a total of 100 points. For each category that applies to an individual, 10 points are deducted from the overall score of the individual. If individuals score between 0-40, they are marked as “untrustworthy”.;  between 50-70, they are marked as “normal” or “ordinary”; and between 80-100, they are marked as “trustworthy”. This similar scoring system can also be seen on another form entitled, “Trustworthiness Assessment Form” (河北西路社区常住户民语系打分表, literal translation: Hebei West Street Watch Unit’s Long-term Minority Language Speaking Residents), used by an Urumchi Neighborhood Watch Unit or “shequ” (社区), which proves to be crucial to the decision of whether or not someone should be detained.  How individuals score on this scale of trustworthiness directly corresponds to how they are ranked in the following section, “Categorization”. “Categorization” (人员分类) places individuals in one of three categories: trustworthy, ordinary, and untrustworthy personnel (放心, 一般, 不放心). One who was labeled as untrustworthy personnel has a high risk of being detained in the camps.

Phones and messages are subject to search by police and locals discuss being “blacklisted” and unable to leave. The Population Data Collection Form is an extension of this massive surveillance effort. Izgil recounts the fear and intensity of the atmosphere in Xinjiang before ultimately leaving in 2017. While at the local police station with his family, Izgil recalls the array of forms they had to fill out, the extensive biometric data collection in the form of blood samples, fingerprints, and facial recognition scanning, as well as the long line of Uyghurs awaiting the same process. These activities were emotionally taxing and physically intensive, causing the author to reflect, “It seemed that the aim of these activities was to keep us [ethnic minority groups] in a constant state of fear”.

The Population Data Collection Form provides an insight into the type of information being collected and prioritized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to particularly target and oppress Muslim populations. In the “Basic Information” (基本信息) section, the form inquires about one’s name, address, education, job, marital status, and the number of children. The “Activity Permission” (活动轨迹) section, requires one to provide the information regarding when and why they came to Urumqi and the most recent trip within the city. The “Religious Practices” (宗教信仰) section asks for people’s religious beliefs, knowledge, and practices, including whether and how often they prayed and whether they have been to Hajj. The “Passport Usage” (护照持有情况) section collects information regarding passports and international trips. This section inquired whether one had a passport, the number and type of the passport, the frequency and reason for international trips, and the frequency of traveling to 26 key terrorism-related countries. The “Information Regarding Stability” (涉稳情况) section asks if an individual is a part of the targeted populations and/or has attended a re-education camp, if yes, the location, date, length of stay in the camp. The “Vehicle and License” (驾照车辆情况) section checks an individual’s license type, number, what kind of vehicle an individual uses, and what purpose the vehicle is used for.

To view the Population Data Collection Form, please see below.

Original Document

English Translation