Thousands of images and documents detailing China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in internment camps have been leaked, exposing the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese government.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, in consortium with the BBC and other news outlets, released on Tuesday May 24 the Xinjiang Police Files, a series of more than 5,000 photographs, documents and speeches, mostly dated from 2017 to 2018, regarding the treatment of Uyghurs in China.
The international community has accused the Chinese Communist Party of committing “genocide” and detaining more than one million Uyghurs in re-education camps to assimilate them as part of a “counter-terrorism” campaign.
China has consistently denied human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim-minorities in “vocational skills education and training centers” built in the Xinjiang province since 2017.
However, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation says the files refute previous claims and reveal the government’s role in mass incarcerating minorities in Xinjiang.
An anonymous hacker first passed the files to Dr. Adrian Zenz, a German professor researching Xinjiang internment camps and the Uyghur people.
Images released include mugshots of detained people beside police officers in full gear. A 15-year-old girl named Rahile Omer is the youngest identified detainee, while Anihan Hamit, 73, is the oldest.
Images have been verified to contain real people with the help of the international Uyghur community, which reported their missing relatives to media organizations.
Another set of images showed police using physical force to subdue detainees and carrying batons, demonstrating the harsh environments within the so-called “schools”.
Charges for Uyghurs’ detention ranged from “disturbing the social order” to listening to “illegal lectures” on phones, according to documents.
The Xinjiang police files also include documents with instructions for the officers surveilling internment camps, including a shoot-to-kill order.
“If students don’t respond to warning shots and continue to try to escape, the armed police shoot to kill,” read one instruction, according to the BBC.
The documents also included Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal for a larger budget to build new centers due to the high number of detainees in the existing centers.
The documents have also identified high-level CCP officials who were in agreement with the harsh treatment against the Uyghur minority.
In a confidential speech, China’s Minister for Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, said he believes that more than two million Uyghurs and other minorities will be detained for “extremist” thoughts and proposed a bigger budget to build new detention facilities.
The file publication arrives during the start of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s six-day visit to China.
Chinese officials hope to clear “misinformation” reports during U.N Human Rights Commissioner visit to China.