A report released by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, presenting leaked documents from the files of the Xinjiang police, offers “absolutely shocking” evidence of the chronic abuse and brutality inflicted on the Uyghur population in China’s far west region, according to Andrew Bremberg, the foundation’s president and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Bremberg called the leaked documents, known as the “Xinjiang Police Files,” a “huge data cache that is unprecedented of its kind” and said that the files contain the personal information of hundreds of thousands of detained persons. Analysts estimate that the Chinese regime is holding more than 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in a network of concentration camps across the region.
The files present “extensive incriminating details from inside China’s internment camp system,” the foundation stated in a May 23 press release, which went on to describe the contents of the files in more detail. The files purport to reveal thousands of images of Uyghur prisoners, from children to elderly men and women, and pictures of police officers and guards placing handcuffs and shackles on prisoners in the course of drills.
Besides the images of prisoners and guards, the files purport to contain the text of high-level directives and orders from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials regarding the classification and treatment of the incarcerated Uyghurs. One such directive, according to the foundation, is the exhortation of Chen Quanguo, former Xinjiang CCP party secretary, that officials and police should treat those of different ethnicities as violent criminals.
The files also present a speech from an unnamed “central government official” stating that Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued orders to expand the funding and number of guards available for the highly crowded jails of Xinjiang and to enlarge the internment system within the region.
Speaking to EpochTV’s “China Insider” program, Bremberg said that much of what the files have brought to light is consistent with what observers of the human rights situation in Xinjiang knew to be going on, but that it is still shocking to see the images of very young detainees and those of advanced age. One of the detainees is a girl photographed at 14 and jailed at 15, he noted.
“Those photos were just shocking and horrifying to see. I’d also say [the same about] some of the other photos that show not just those that have been imprisoned, but show the actual security forces inside those internment facilities and how they operate,” Bremberg said.
By Michael Washburn and David Zhang