It is common knowledge that several countries have accused #China of committing crimes against humanity and genocide against the #Uyghur population, the Muslim minority in the north-western region of #Xinjiang ( East Turkestan). The so-called "re-education camps," has more than a million Uyghurs detained against their will. The Xinjiang Police Files – a massive cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region and obtained by the BBC earlier this year – have recently revealed details of China's use of these camps. These files offer significant new insights into the government's secretive system of Uyghurs' and other Turkic minorities' mass incarceration in Xinjiang.
These files include classified speeches by senior officials, internal police manuals, and personnel information. The files also contain internment details for more than 20.000 Uyghurs and photographs from highly sensitive locations. In addition, there are more than 5.000 police photographs of Uyghurs taken between January and July 2018, out of which at least 2884 are detained. The youngest, Rahile Omer, was only 15 at her detention, while the oldest, Anihan Hamit, was 73.
The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture, or Islamic faith, of widespread use of terrorism charges – in whose name many thousands of people have been swept into formal prisons - and of a chain of command running up to the Chinese leader, Xi #Jinping. For those trying to escape, a shoot-to-kill policy is adopted. Considering that Xinjiang's formal prison system has also been massively expanded as another method for controlling Uyghur identity, it comes to light a picture of relentless and arbitrary captivity in both camps and prisons.
The Xinjiang Police Files, thus, expose the inner workings of China's confinement system more clearly than ever before, also providing fresh clues about its scale. Unfortunately, there was no response to any of the specific evidence in the cache from the Chinese government.