Uighurs detained for beards, veils and internet browsing
Leaked Chinese government records reveal details of surveillance reports on Uyghur families.
CHINA — A leaked document that details the lives of thousands of Muslims currently detained in so-called 're-education' camps across China is just another example of how Beijing is punishing Uighurs for their religious beliefs.
A 137-page PDF file was allegedly leaked by a source inside Xinjiang. According to CNN, the document included information of more than 3000 individuals and listed details such as how often they pray, how they dress, whom they engage with and even how their own family members behave.
CNN sent a copy of the document to both the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local government in Xinjiang to see if either could verify its authenticity, however, neither responded.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi said that these "concentration camps" are "fake news" and that he would gladly welcome any "international diplomat or media" to visit Xinjiang for themselves and see how harmoniously everyone lives together.
CNN attempted to visit the detention centers in Xinjiang but was blocked by the local government.
What other information can be found on these documents?
One row listed the case of a 38-year-old woman who was sent to one of these camps for one main reason, she was known to have worn a veil some years ago.
In another, a 28-year-old man was incarcerated for, "clicking on a web-link and unintentionally landing on a foreign website."
One man's father is shown to have been sentenced to five years for "having a double-colored thick beard and organizing a religious studies group."
The BBC details how a series of rows were dedicated to a 65-year-old man. His records show that his two daughters "wore veils and burkas in 2014 and 2015." He even had a verdict, "continued training."
Do we trust the document?
One of the world's leading experts on China's policies in Xinjiang, Dr. Adrian Zenz, believes, yes we can.
"This remarkable document presents the strongest evidence I've seen to date that Beijing is actively persecuting and punishing normal practices of traditional religious beliefs."
The BBC claim that much of the evidence they uncovered during a tour of one of these camps last year is, in fact, corroborated by this new document.
What is the biggest justification for a person's internment?
In the eyes of communist China, having too many children is the clearest sign that Uighurs put their traditions above their absolute obedience to the Chinese state.
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