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China bans Tibetans from obtaining passports

China has banned Tibetans and other ethnic minorities from obtaining passports, rights group said as the country saw a rise in Chinese tourists travelling abroad.

According to reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Chinese authorities have created a two-tier system, one for areas populated by the country’s ethnic Han majority and another, more cumbersome system for areas inhabited by the country’s Tibetan and Muslim minorities, News24 reported.

It is virtually impossible to obtain a passport if a person lives in a part of the country where most people are minorities, said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

In most parts of China, a passport must be issued within 15 days, and if there is a delay the authorities must notify the applicant. (ANI)