BEIJING: A leak of thousands of photos and official documents from China’s Xinjiang has shed new light on the violent methods used to enforce mass internment in the region, researchers said Tuesday. The files, obtained by academic Adrian Zenz, were published as UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet begins a long-awaited and controversial trip to Xinjiang.
Activists say Chinese authorities have detained more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in a network of detention centers and prisons in the region, which Beijing has defended as training centers. But the trove of police photographs and internal documents - sent to Zenz by an anonymous source who hacked into official databases in Xinjiang - add to evidence that the mass internments were far from voluntary, with leaked documents showing top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown.
The files include a 2017 internal speech by Chen Quanguo, a former Communist Party secretary in Xinjiang, in which he allegedly orders guards to shoot to kill anyone who tries to escape, and calls for officials in the region to “exercise firm control over religious believers”. — AFP