NEW DELHI — The Chinese authorities have mercilessly treated the Uighur Muslim minorities of Xinjiang province, in the restive western sector, in detention camps, a New York Times investigation has revealed. The US daily caught hold of classified files that detailed the cruel tactics being employed by Chinese security forces against the persecuted community.
As per these files, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the crackdown and use of violent force against the separatists in the Muslim-resident areas. Human Rights organisations say that over one million Uighurs Muslims have been confined to detention centers in Xinjiang. The NYT has accessed a 403-page document which, for the first time, revealed classified information about the Communist Party’s controversial plans on the Uighurs.
According the report, the documents in effect contained answers to the questions raised by the Uighur students studying abroad when they returned to their province and found several of their family members either missing or detained. “The Chinese leadership distributed a classified directive advising local officials to corner returning students as soon as they arrived and force them to keep quiet (as to what’s happening there). It included a chillingly bureaucratic guide as to how to handle their anguished questions, beginning with the most obvious: Where is my family,” stated the report
The authorities were directed to tell the students that their parents were infected by an extremism virus and being treated in these detention centers. The persecution of Uighurs has come under the spotlight of the global media recently, and they criticised China over its treatment of the minority Muslims. The investigation report highlights the point that President Xi had, in his speeches, ordered the crackdown. He also called for keeping the Uighur population under surveillance and in detention camps.
The documents talk of the disagreement within the Chinese Communist Party over the crackdown against Muslims, the report says.
The classified documents were leaked to the media by an unidentified member of the Communist Party with the hope that the Chinese leadership will be held accountable for its harsh treatment of the Uighurs. The report stated that, way back in 2014, Uighur militants conducted several attacks killing and injuring civilians. After these incidents, President Xi addressed the nation on the issue of extremism and separatism said that there should be no tolerance towards tackling such issues.