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Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: ‘Xinjiang Police Files’ Uyghur camps are really prisons

Yesterday the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) released a bombshell report based on the to-date largest and most significant leak of internal documents from directly within Xinjiang police networks. The “Xinjiang Police Files” consists of tens of thousands of files containing extensive incriminating details from inside China’s internment camp system.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports the files include thousands of photographs, spreadsheets and classified documents hacked from Chinese police servers have shed a horrifying new light on the terrors Uyghur Muslims have been subjected to in 're-education camps' and prisons in Xinjiang, as part of a state-sponsored campaign aimed at 'breaking' their cultural identity.


The treasure trove of data lays bare how more than 20,000 Uyghurs from just one county - Shufu - were imprisoned or interred in camps between 2017 and 2018 on spurious charges such as growing a beard or failing to top their phone up with credit, under the watchful eye of guards who were ordered to shoot escapees on sight.


For the first time, the files provide researchers with thousands of images of detained Uyghurs, as well as photos of police guards wielding automatic weapons and handcuffing and shackling detainees during camp security drills. The files also contain unusually candid speeches reflecting the state of mind of leading officials. They show Xinjiang’s former Party Secretary Chen Quanguo’s impassioned demands to treat persons from ethnic groups like dangerous criminals, to prevent any camp escapes, and to readily open fire to stop escapees and to safeguard the camps – outlining the extremes to which the state has gone to enforce stability maintenance goals.


A classified speech by China’s minister of public security, a leading central government official, directly states that Xi Jinping gave orders to provide Xinjiang’s overcrowded detention facilities with more security guards and funding, and to expand the region’s prison and internment system. The files show that Beijing considers “over two million” Uyghurs to be impacted by “extremist” religious thought, and therefore potential targets for re-education. Police spreadsheets indicate that in 2018, over 12 percent of the adult population of one majority-Uyghur county was in an internment facility.


“The Xinjiang Police Files prove that China’s so-called vocational training centers are really prisons,” said Amb. Andrew Bremberg, President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “These documents conclusively demonstrate that Beijing has been lying about its gross human rights violations in Xinjiang. The international community must take immediate and concrete action to hold China accountable for these atrocities.”


The files were obtained by a third party from directly inside confidential internal Xinjiang police computer networks, and have been authenticated and analyzed by Dr. Adrian Zenz, a foremost scholar on the Xinjiang internment campaign, in two peer-reviewed academic papers published in the respected Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies and ChinaFile.

"These findings are significant because they provide us with frank policy implementation directives along with the thought processes and intentions that made them a reality,” said Dr. Adrian Zenz, Director and Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “This gives an unprecedented look into the personal attitudes of Chinese authorities and the personal involvement of Xi Jinping. Documents with this kind of insight have never before been published and their revelations are very disturbing.”


Since 2017, Chinese authorities have detained between one and two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Region in what Chinese Communist Party officials have labeled “vocational skills education and training centers.” The new evidence conclusively refutes these claims and shows the extent to which the central government in Beijing has been directly involved in masterminding and supporting the campaign of mass internment.


Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is an educational, research, and human rights nonprofit devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of the more than 1.5 billion people still living under totalitarian regimes.


  • Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC)

  • Xinjiang Police Files

  • China internment camps

  • Uyghur Muslims

  • reeducation camps

  • Party Secretary Chen Quanguo

  • vocational training centers

  • Dr. Adrian Zenz

  • Xinjiang Region

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