revelations about the Chinese repressive machine against the Uighurs

By Nathalie Guibert

Posted today at 06:04, updated at 09:22

“If the students don’t listen to the instructions, the armed police can fire warning shots. If the students do not give in to deterrence, if they continue to escalate the tension, try to escape or seize the weapons of the agents, they will be killed. » So goes discipline in a ” professional formation center “ reserved for Muslim minorities, in Shufu, in the “Uyghur Autonomous Region” du Xinjiang, en Chine.

Dated 2018, this “instruction to eliminate any disturbance and attempt to escape during lessons” is extracted from a pirated batch of some 100,000 police documents, a large part of which is devoted to the “educational transformation” (jiaoyu zhuanhua) of the Uighurs – or their mass confinement for the purpose of “re-education”, in the sense of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Satellite photo from January 15, 2022 (Maxar). New Shufu District Vocational Education and Training Center. Recent extensions are visible.

Published on May 24, these “Xinjiang Police Files” were delivered to German anthropologist Adrian Zenz by a source who demanded nothing in return, and were verified outside of China by a group of fourteen international media. They bring, after several series of revelations published since 2019 by this same researcher and NGOs, a decisive new light on the repression organized by Beijing in the region.

The documents – several thousand computer files from 2000 to 2018, 452 registers containing more than 20,000 names of arrested Uighurs, countless instructions, briefings and police work reports – are extracted from the computers of the Public Security Bureau (BSP ) of two districts, Konasheher – Shufu in Mandarin –, in Kashgar prefecture, and Tekes, in Ili prefecture. Often written in very bureaucratic and abstract language, the documents describe, from the inside, the armed and coercive organization of the new so-called ” professional training “, as well as the deployment of police forces on the ground. Either the concrete implementation of the security apparatus intended to « stabiliser » Xinjiang, which the CCP says is threatened by the “separatists” Muslims.

“Konasheher’s internal files contain the personal information of 286,000 residents of the district, indicating that between 12.1% and 12.5% ​​of ethnic minority adults in 2018 are undergoing some form of internment, re-education, detention or in prison “establishes Mr. Zenz, who publishes his research in the Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies. Konasheher’s new “vocational training center” (CFP) then held 8,000 people – a register of which also provided all the personal data. This considerable rate of detention exceeds those of Stalinism. And “it is 64 times higher than China’s national imprisonment rate”, as listed in 2021 in Leander Von Kameke’s Prison Data for Asia, writes Adrian Zenz.

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