Uighur activists and their supporters on Sunday called leaked Chinese documents that revealed the government’s plans to detain millions of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region “truly chilling” and another form of “genocide.”
“The Chinese government’s cruel, bigoted treatment of Muslims and ethnic minorities is a horrifying human rights violation,” Warren wrote. “We must stand up to hatred and extremism at home — and around the world.”
The more than 400 pages of documents, leaked, according to the Times, by a member of the Chinese political establishment, included internal speeches by President Xi Jinping and other officials, information about the surveillance and control of the Uighur population and internal investigations on local officials.
The Times called the documents “one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades” and a strong indication that turmoil within the ruling party is rising over the repression of the Muslim Uighurs.
The papers confirm reports that more than 1 million people have been detained in internment camps as the Chinese government seeks to strip Uighurs of their identity and indoctrinate them into being secular and loyal party supporters.
Xi still told party members in secret speeches that religious extremists should be treated with “absolutely no mercy,” the Times reported.
The documents included a script for officials to follow when explaining to students returning to the region why their parents had disappeared, the Times reported.
The World Uyghur Congress called China a “country with concentration camps” in a retweet.
“Leaks to the @NYTimes illustrate the cold, calculated nature of China’s policy of cultural genocide towards Uyghurs,” the organization retweeted.
Are we supposed to tolerate the @Olympics in a country with concentration camps?— #NoRightsNoGames2022 (@NoRightsNoGames) November 17, 2019
The IOC has a BIG problem on its hands if so.
Leaks to the @NYTimes illustrate the cold, calculated nature of China's policy of cultural genocide towards Uyghurs.#NoRightsNoGames2022 pic.twitter.com/vPUZEgKWHG
The Washington Post reported Sunday that few Uighurs are able to escape the widespread surveillance, and even fewer are able to make it to the United States. A Uighur family now living in Northern Virginia has caught the attention of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Scholars, activists and others tweeted their concerns and analysis of the leak.
One remarkable take-away from the secret Xinjiang Papers is how CCP authorities referred to the program with the word "concentration" 集中 from the very beginning. Chinese officials were indignant when foreign critics called these "concentration camps" but it's their own word!— James Millward 米華健 (@JimMillward) November 16, 2019
So far, we had glimpses of China’s “re-education” campaign against its Muslim population through word of mouth & scattered footage of the facilities & surveillance tech used.@nytimes has now obtained 403 pages of classified documents on what’s happening: https://t.co/WXTFWcAkA2— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) November 16, 2019
International news story of the weekend - broken by @nytimes based on leaked Chinese Govt papers: the inside story of the imprisonment of a million Uighur Muslims by China.— Patrick Corrigan (@PatrickCorrigan) November 17, 2019
Will any of our politicians say a word in protest, or will they just keep taking China’s ‘hospitality’? https://t.co/8gKZrGXYol
This is an incredible get by The New York Times, and a devastating look into the ruthless bureaucratic efficiency of the Uighur detention camps.— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) November 16, 2019
"Mr. Xi urged the party to emulate aspects of America’s “war on terror” after the Sept. 11 attacks." https://t.co/d0N7KMVbHY
Very comprehensive piece by the @nytimes It’s release shows that discontent over the ‘training centers’ might be greater than previously thought but lays bare the rationale for their establishment. #HumanRights #Uighur https://t.co/A8TxkGi5nT— Amnesty Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional) (@aimcg_nagoya) November 16, 2019
The @nytimes reporting on the Uighur internment camps in Xinjiang is truly chilling stuff.— Julian Brave NoiseCat (@jnoisecat) November 16, 2019
But if you think this is just a China thing, remember that the US did something very similar to Native families and is still locking up kids at the border.https://t.co/ZjEZomK4y6
Laura Murphy, a professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University in England, invited those who work against slavery and trafficking to collaborate.
Folks who are working on anti-slavery, anti-trafficking, and workers' rights need to be aware of/strategizing against this extraordinary but expansive program of forced labor that is accompanying the mass internment of over a million people. Want to collab?— Laura Murphy (@DrLauraTMurphy) November 16, 2019
Rose Kulak, a human rights campaigner for Amnesty International Australia, said the papers confirmed speculation about what was happening to Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.