Documents leaked on Sunday expose new details about how the Chinese government is using a network of detention centers to brainwash hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Western China.
The Chinese government has continually denied claims that it has unjustly imprisoned hundreds of thousands to millions of Uighur and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.
However, documents called “The China Cables” that were leaked to news outlets this week offer a peek behind the curtain into the ideological motivations and structure behind such detention centers that international actors have strongly condemned.
The documents were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a consortium that has worked with 17 media partners including the BBC and The Guardian.
According to ICIJ, the documents include a classified list of guidelines that were approved by the region’s top security official that serves as a manual for operating the camps.
The leak also includes intelligence briefings that detail how Chinese security officers are guided by massive data collection that helps select categories of residents to detain.
The leaked documents also appear to contradict the Chinese government’s claim that the network of detention centers constructed across Xinjiang in recent years only exist as places of voluntary re-education to help Muslims with extremist tendencies get on the right path.
The documents came to the ICIJ through a chain of exiled Uighurs. ICIJ says the authenticity of the documents was confirmed by leading experts.
China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming called reports of the leak “fake news.”
Included in the leak is a nine-page memo reportedly sent out to officials operating the camps by then deputy-secretary of Xinjiang’s Communist Party, Zhu Hailun, in 2017.
BBC reports that the memo explains that the detention centers in Xinjiang should be run as high-security prisons with strict punishments and no escapes.
The memo also orders detention center officials to “increase discipline and punishment of behavioral violations,” make remedial Mandarin studies a top priority and “promote repentance and confession.”
According to The Guardian, the memo also reveals that inmates at the camps must serve at least one year but could be detained indefinitely.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith