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China footage reveals hundreds of blindfolded and shackled prisoners

September 26, 2019

Editor’s note: The footage of Chinese soldiers herding Uighars with shaved heads and blindfolds is horrifying. CPA does not use the phrase "Nazi Germany", but this China footage really looks like it. What happened to these people after being led away? 

Video shows what appear to be Uighur or other minority prisoners led away by police

[Lily Kuo | September 23, 2019 | The Guardian]

Drone footage has emerged showing police leading hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men from a train in what is believed to be a transfer of inmates in Xinjiang.

The video, posted anonymously on YouTube last week, shows what appear to be Uighur or other minorities wearing blue and yellow uniforms, with cleanly shaven heads, their eyes covered, sitting in rows on the ground and later being led away by police. Prisoners in China are often transferred with handcuffs and masks covering their faces.

Nathan Ruser, a researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s international cyber policy centre, used clues in the footage, including landmarks and the position of the sun, to verify the video, which he believes was shot at a train station west of Korla in south-east Xinjiang in August last year.

Much of the focus of international criticism of China’s far-reaching anti-terrorism campaign in Xinjiang has centred on the extrajudicial detentions of more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in internment and political re-education camps.

Q&A

Who are the Uighurs?

The Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic group, primarily from China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. They have been subject to religious and ethnic persecution by Chinese authorities, with rights groups claiming that in recent years more than 1 million people have been held in detention camps. 
Having initially denied the existence of the camps, China has described them as “vocational education centres” in the face of mounting evidence in the form of government documents, satellite imagery and testimonies from escaped detainees. Satellite images have also suggested that more than two dozen Islamic religious sites have been partly or completely demolished since 2016.
In July 2019 China claimed that most of the people sent to the mass detention centres have “returned to society”, but this has been disputed by relatives of those detained. Around 1-1.5m Uighur are estimated to live overseas as a diaspora, many of whom have campaigned against the treatment of their families.  

The number of formal arrests and prison sentences has also increased. According to analysis by the New York Times, local courts sentenced 230,000 people to prison or other punishments in 2017 and 2018, as the campaign got under way. Xinjiang accounts for less than 2% of the country’s population but about 21% of all arrests in 2017.

Ruser said the detainees were most likely being transferred to prisons in Korla from Kashgar, where the crackdown has been particularly severe. The area is believed to be home to several re-education camps but fewer detention centres.

“It counters the propaganda offensive China is trying to show,” he said, underlining the treatment of those within the penal system.

China has been taking diplomats and select groups of journalists on carefully orchestrated tours of Xinjiang and has defended its anti-extremism methods, describing them as a model for other countries to follow.

On Sunday, Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, described the video as “deeply disturbing”.

The video was posted on YouTube by an account named War on Fear, whose stated goal is to fight fear inspired by hi-tech surveillance.

Read the original article here


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