Hacked Chinese government records yield new insight into mass detention of Uyghurs
These are the faces of the imprisoned, the youngest, 15, Rahile Omer, the eldest, Anihan Hamit, 73, Hawagul Tewekkul, detained for what the police call re-education, all under heavy surveillance, all Muslim Uyghurs, victims of what the United States calls genocide and the mass internment of more than a million Chinese citizens, the photos and new documents revealed in Xinjiang police files.
According to Beijing, in these camps, Uyghurs learn the Han Chinese language and acquire vocational skills to heal them from the possibility of terrorism and separatism. But people who have left Chinese detention call the prisons brainwashing institutions. And a 2019 video believed to be genuine by the US government shows Uyghur detainees in blue with their heads shaved and blindfolded.
The new photos revealed inmates being forced to recite verses and watch speeches on state television.
The photos and files were leaked to Adrian Zenz, a researcher who has focused on Xinjiang for years and now works at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Adrian Zenz, welcome to “NewsHour”.
What do these documents show about security in these camps that we did not know before?
Adrian Zenz, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: The documents show us for the first time how the camps should be guarded, i.e. how many police, how should the police react, how are they armed, what weapons they use.
The police use sniper rifles in the watchtowers. They use military grade machine guns. They must warn inmates who attempt to escape or cause trouble. But then they have a shoot-to-kill order if they don’t obey the spoken command.
So this is truly an unprecedented insight into the security of detention camps. And, with that, we don’t just have the instructions, the written text. We have footage of actual police drills showing how police handcuff detainees, shackle them, drive them away, and then even place them in the eerie tiger chair for questioning.