Photos, speeches and official instructions leaked to a scientist reinforce critics in their allegations of torture against China. It is therefore clear that large numbers of Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province are being held and threatened with torture and death. China talks about training.
Shortly before UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet's visit to Xinjiang, an international media consortium published further evidence of the mass detention of Uyghurs in China. Photos, speeches and instructions from the authorities would prove that the camps are not, as the Chinese government claims, "professional training institutions," said the Bavarian radio station involved in the research and "Spiegel".
The data set includes a previously unknown speech by the former Xinjiang regional party leader in 2017, which said that any prisoner who tried to escape even a few steps was to be "shooted". Security forces with assault rifles can be seen in the pictures. A photo also shows a prisoner in a so-called tiger chair - a torture device in which the legs are overstretched. The Chinese embassy in the US said the measures in Xinjiang were aimed at countering terrorist activities and that it was not about "human rights or a religion".
According to the announcement, the data set was leaked to the German anthropologist Adrian Zenz. This is a well-known China researcher in the USA who pointed out the alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang early on and was sanctioned by Beijing in 2021. He shared the data with a total of 14 Western media outlets.
The head of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with China, Reinhard Bütikofer, called on BR and "Spiegel" to introduce new sanctions against China. The "images of horror" should lead to the European Union taking a clear position.
Bachelet is expected to visit the Xinjiang cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on Tuesday and Wednesday. The government in Beijing is accused of detaining more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far western region of the country in "re-education camps". Beijing is accused, among other things, of forced sterilization and forced labour.
In addition, the authorities should raze cultural sites to the ground. The entire region is under strict surveillance. The US speaks of a genocide. They had also expressed doubts that Bachelet would get an "unmanipulated" picture of the situation. China vehemently denies the allegations.