China’s President Xi Jinping held a video call with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet during her visit to Xinjiang May 25. But Bachelet’s fact-finding tour co-incided with new evidence of crimes against the Uyghur people of the province. A hacker broke into a network of computers in Xinjiang’s so-called “Vocational Skills Education & Training Centers,” releasing a cache of files that document significant abuses. The Xinjiang Police Files, published by the Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies, include images from inside the camps, as well as thousands of detainee records. Many of these are run by the BBC in a photo essay, “The faces from China’s Uyghur detention camps.”
The records indicate that 12% of the 2018 adult Uyghur population of some counties was in camps or prisons. The files also include a 2017 internal speech by Chen Quanguo, then Communist Party secretary for Xinjiang, in which he apparently ordered guards to shoot to kill anyone who tried to escape the camps, and called for officials in the region to “exercise firm control over religious believers.”
The documents include detailed instructions on how to run the internment camps—from what kinds of force can be used against prisoners to details on equipping watchtowers with sniper rifles and infantry-grade machine guns.
They also expose demands for new camps from Xi Jinping “because existing ones are overcrowded,” tweeted the study’s author, Adrian Zenz of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. (BAS, Jurist, Al Jazeera)
Image: Xinjiang Police Files
Bachelet calls on China to revise ‘counterterrorism’ practices
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on May 28 raised concerns that China’s counter-terrorism measures in the province of Xinjiang may violate human rights, and publicly called on the country to review these measures. (Jurist)