Leaked Chinese Government Documents Reveal Systematic Detention of Muslim Uighurs

Published by Matt Fishman on

Newly leaked classified documents from the Chinese government reveal their plans of systematic detention of Muslim Uighurs in China. Five Chinese government documents labeled with confidential secrecy were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists “via a chain of exiled Uighurs”, and detail the government’s detention and indoctrination of Uighurs in the Xinjiang region of China.

China has publicly acknowledged the existence of centers that “have been established with the goal of educating and rehabilitating people guilty of minor crimes or law-breaking and eradicating the influence of terrorism and extremism, in order to prevent them from falling victim to terrorism and extremism, and to nip terrorist activities in the bud.” However, what is referred to by China as “training centers”, are revealed in the leaked documents to adhere to strict requirements to “manage and control student activities to prevent escapes” including monitoring of “eating periods”, “toilet breaks”, and “bath time”. The documents do suggest “students” are allowed “to leave the training center due to illness or other special circumstances,” but if they do “they must have someone specially accompany, monitor and control them.”

Detained Uighurs are “educated and trained in the training center for at least one year,” during which they are exposed to “daily concentrated study of the national language (Mandarin), law, and skills.” The centers aim to “effectively resolve ideological contradictions, and guide away students from bad emotions” in addition to promoting “the repentance and confession of the students for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behavior.” In situations where someone harbors “negative attitudes or even feelings of resistance” the center will “carry out education transformation to ensure that results are achieved.”

Although China claims to be helping those who “have been influenced by religious extremism”, one of the leaked documents details the detention of Uighurs “who have obtained foreign nationality and have applied for Chinese visas” as well as “for any person originally from Xinjiang who obtains foreign nationality or a foreign passport [or] applies for a visa”. ” It states that when “suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out” the person should “be placed into concentrated education and training and examined” and “border control should be implemented to carry out arrest”. Another leaked document shows the targeting of people “who used “Kuai Ya” (a file sharing) software to spread audio and video with violent terroristic characteristics”, and “for those suspected of terrorism,… it is necessary to put in concentrated training and further screen and review.”

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says they have “seen the “Xinjiang Papers””, and the “reports are consistent with an overwhelming and growing body of evidence that the Chinese Communist Party is committing human rights violations and abuses against individuals in mass detention.” Chinese Ambassador at the United Kingdom Embassy responded that the “so-called leaked documents are pure fabrication and fake news.”


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