German Uyghur expert Adrian Zenz believes that Europe and the Netherlands should announce tough sanctions against China. Zenz is responsible for Wednesday’s release of thousands of photos of Uyghur prisoners and tens of thousands of leaked documents, causing an uproar around the world. Zenz told NU.nl. “As Western countries, we can no longer afford to ignore this. Those responsible must be sanctioned primarily within the Chinese system.”
Zenz received a huge amount of internal police documents “a few months ago”. He wouldn’t say exactly when he got the chops to protect his sources. Since February, he has been working with international media that have confirmed the authenticity of the documents. This led to publications in BBC† El Pais en from the mirror†
This is not the first time that documents have surfaced showing that Uyghurs are being imprisoned on a large scale in China’s Xinjiang region. But it has not previously been established on the basis of such detailed information that the Chinese authorities use “re-education camps” and former prisons to detain Uyghurs on a large scale. “To me, this is the mother of all hacks,” says Zenz.
In the so-called Xinjiang police files, which are files be accessible to all, are lists of names and reasons why they are serving prison terms – sometimes years. This may be wearing a beard, listening to religious texts, or bringing people together which may cause social unrest.
There are also thousands of photos of prisoners. Below is a photo of a fifteen-year-old girl, Rahil Omar, who is imprisoned. Little is known about her fate and that of others. The pictures also show how the man in the infamous “tiger chair” Shackled during interrogation. Other photos show heavily armed police officers beating and dragging prisoners. Documents from the period up to 2018.
Raheel Omar, fifteen, is an inmate at the camp in Xinjiang.
“Anyone who escapes should be shot.”
There are also detailed instructions for the guards and speeches from high-ranking members of the Communist Party, who speak unreservedly about shooting prisoners trying to escape.
One of the lyrics is a speech given by Chen Quanguo, the former leader of the Communist Party of Xinjiang. He tells his audience that anyone trying to escape “must be shot”. Zenz: “Chen Quanguo is known to be a ruthless leader, but that’s another thing when you see these kinds of black and white text.”
Experts have no doubts about the authenticity of the documents. Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth said Wednesday Deutsche Welle He “has every reason” to believe the records are accurate.
Zenz himself argues that it is virtually impossible to get the roughly three thousand Uyghur residents in rural China to take pictures. According to him, it is clear that the hacked texts also come from the Chinese government, often with official stamps.
EU call for sanctions
Yesterday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner called for a change track† He wants Germany to become less dependent on China. In the Netherlands, Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) reacted more cautiously. He described the new reports of grave human rights violations as “extremely disturbing”.
Scholar Zenz thinks the Dutch response is too weak. “Why is there no outright condemnation of China? The facts are on the table. It is clear that China is guilty of massive oppression of Uyghurs.”
Messages containing new information about the massive human rights violations in Xinjiang are deeply disturbing. The Netherlands reiterates its call on China to fully respect human rights and grant the United Nations unrestricted access to conduct independent investigations.
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UN Commissioner’s visit to China ‘a futile trip’
Zenz is not alone in taking this position. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an international group of parliamentarians including Tom Van de Lee (GroenLinks) and D66 member Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, called on European countries this week to impose penalties against Chinese dignitaries responsible for the mass suppression and imprisonment of Uyghurs.
Zenz agrees: “So far the European Union has imposed sanctions on only a few Chinese. The former leader of Xinjiang, one of the architects of the persecution of the Uyghurs, has not yet been implemented. It is time for us to act. It is happening.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed the hacked documents as coming from “anti-China forces bent on discrediting Xinjiang”. It also accused the media covering the case of spreading “lies and rumours”.
Next week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, will visit Xinjiang. It is the first time in 15 years that a representative from the United Nations has visited China.
IPAC parliamentarians believe the visit is a hoax, because China will make any meaningful investigation by Bachelet and her team impossible by relying on strict measures on Corona. Zenz: “China will use Bachelet’s visit for propaganda purposes. It’s a pointless trip.”
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