April 7 (UPI) — Police in China’s northwest territory of Xinjiang are being penalized for not following orders to monitor the region’s Muslim population.
A total of 97 officers in Xinjiang were recently punished for not doing their job, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.
The cadres in an oasis town in southern Xinjiang, including seven village policemen, were disciplined for not properly spying on locals.
Officers who did not register the precise number of Muslims at congregational prayers or did not know the identities of those who were absent from patriotic gatherings, like weekly flag-raising ceremonies, were penalized, according to the report.
The announcement of disciplinary measures is rare, but is providing insight into how the state maintains what are at times harsh policies against the 2 million Uighur Muslims in the territory.
The group has come under stricter scrutiny since a knife attack in February killed eight people, and a bomb blast in December led to five deaths.
Village police are also implementing forceful measures or blackmailing villagers as crackdowns take place at a local level.
Authorities who are resorting to bullying methods are being punished, according to the state announcement.
Mosques in the region are being required to install surveillance cameras and lax enforcement of the latest rules was raised as an issue by the state, according to the Post.