Uyghur Labor Camps in China: Published "Xinjiang Police Files"

MEP from France: “The Chinese regime wants everyone to forget about the deported Uyghurs. That’s why it’s so important to show their faces.”

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is on a 6-day visit to China for the first time in 17 years. Xi Jinping, leader of the PRC, held talks with her via video format. Its main message:

“No one should tell China how to protect human rights, these issues cannot be politicized.”

The head of the agency will go to the northwest of the country, to Xinjiang – information about torture and murder in labor camps for Uyghur Muslims comes from there. Critics of the Chinese government fear that the program of her visit will be tightly controlled by the authorities.

Last Tuesday, “Xinjiang police files” were published, which were verified by a consortium of investigative journalists from 14 world media outlets. They were obtained as a result of a leak from the computer servers of the Chinese security forces. More than 100,000 documents show facts of violence. Thousands of photos taken in China’s top-secret mass detention system. They also contain the personal data of prisoners, the oldest of whom is 73 years old. Rafael Glucksmann, MEP for France, says:

“The Chinese regime wants everyone to forget about the deported Uighurs. That’s why it’s so important to show their faces.”

However, Beijing calls the allegations “the hoax of the century” and vehemently denies them. At the official level, everything looks decent enough – the camps are called centers for professional retraining, in which the prevention of religious extremism is carried out. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in 2019:

“Education and learning centers in Xinjiang are schools that help people free themselves from extremism.”

Government claims that the re-education camps built in Xinjiang since 2017 are nothing more than “schools” are in stark contrast to internal police instructions, lists of guards and previously unreleased pictures of prisoners. air force.

The documents that have been made public provide some of the strongest evidence to date of a policy directed against virtually any manifestation of Uyghur identity, culture or belief. And also the fact that the decision-making chain on these issues goes up, all the way to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Tens of thousands of documents and images include secret speeches by senior officials, internal police instructions and personnel information, details of the internment of more than 20,000 Uighurs, and photographs from classified locations.

Dating of documents ends at the end of 2018. Most likely, the reason lies in the directive issued at the beginning of 2019, which tightens encryption standards. Therefore, more recent files might not be hackable.

A media consortium has reached out to the Chinese government for comment on the hacked data, with detailed questions about the evidence it contains. And received a response from the Chinese Embassy in Washington:

“Issues related to Xinjiang are essentially about countering terrorism, radicalization and separatism, not about human rights or religion. The Chinese authorities have taken “many decisive, credible and effective de-radicalization measures. Currently, social stability and harmony reign in the region, as well as economic development.”



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