Leaked document shows how China tracked Uighur detainees and their families

Leaked document shows how China tracked Uighur detainees and their families


Leaked document shows how China tracked Uighur detainees and their families

(NYTIMES) - The last time she heard from her family was over three years ago, before China began rounding up Muslims in the country's far west. She lived abroad and knew nothing of her family's fate - until the contents of a leaked government document surfaced, describing their lives in chilling detail.. Read more at

For the past few years, authorities in the Xinjiang region have placed hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim minority groups into indoctrination camps in the most sweeping mass detentions since the Mao era.It includes the names and government identification numbers of more than 300 people held in indoctrination camps and information on hundreds of their relatives and neighbours. Even children as young as 16 were closely monitored for signs of what Beijing considered to be wayward thinking.

The spreadsheet adds to a growing body of evidence on these detentions.The data in it shows how China has tried to establish dominance over Uighurs and other minority groups in the name of increasing security, said Adrian Zenz, a researcher who has analysed the spreadsheet.

He also said that he had located three of the internment sites listed in the document based on previously identified camps, and that the language used in the spreadsheet mirrored that of official documents elsewhere in Xinjiang.Authorities scrutinised three generations of each detainee's family, as well as their neighbours and friends. Officials in charge of monitoring mosques reported on how actively the residents participated in ceremonies, including the naming of children, circumcision, weddings and funerals.

Outward signs of piety were also recorded."Wore a beard from March 2011 to July 2014," reads a description of one detainee related to several people who had been sent to camps.Officials dissected their movements or plans to travel, particularly to predominantly Muslim nations. Even obtaining a passport was flagged, regardless of whether it was used. One of the most common reasons cited for detention, little known until now, was the violation of China's birth restrictions by having too many children.

Zenz, who studied the spreadsheet, calculated that about three-fourths of the listed detainees had been released. That appears to be in line with assertions by officials in Xinjiang last year that they had begun winding down the program."This person had many family members imprisoned and involved in many cases, and his thinking has been infected by extremism," read the notes on one detainee. Officials recommended that he be kept in the camp under strict control.

But what she found more surprising was that authorities had detained her sister Patem, whom she said was active in the local government and had served as the head of the local women's association.

Read more: The Straits Times

//authorities see as problematic that would be normal elsewhere, such as giving up alcohol, wanting to go on a religious pilgrimage or attending a funeral// That's insane! Authoritarian China must be held accountable for violating human rights! MagnitskyAct China_is_terrorist

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18 February 2020, Tuesday News

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