How similar are Mongols and Uyghurs

Uighurs: New secret documents show violation of religious freedom in China

Several international media have leaked secret documents that prove the arbitrariness of the Chinese government against the Uyghurs. Even wearing headscarves and beards or owning religious books are listed in the so-called Karakax list as reasons for imprisoning Uyghurs in re-education camps, as reported by a group of German and international media. Among them are the NDR, the WDR, the Deutsche Welle and Southgerman newspaper. Even those who have relatives abroad, apply for a passport or take part in a religious pilgrimage must expect arrest as a Uyghur.

Families of the Muslim minority in northwest China's Xinjiang region are classified as "trustworthy" or not, their attitudes "good" or "ordinary" or the atmosphere in the family as religious to justify suspicion. How many relatives are already in the camp is also taken into account. Human rights organizations criticize this as a systematic violation of religious freedom.

The lists with personal information on monitored persons come from the Karakax district (Hotan administrative district). They are 140 pages long and contain, among other things, detailed information on more than 300 people who are or were interned in camps. Not all entries could be classified in terms of time, but the most recent entry was from March 2019, reported the NDR.

According to estimates by human rights activists, hundreds of thousands to a million Uyghurs have been sent to such re-education camps. China's government speaks of vocational training institutions that inmates attend voluntarily. However, the China Cables, which were similarly revealed in November, showed that staying in the closely guarded facilities was forcibly ordered.

"Website clicked"

Like China Cables, Asiye Abdulaheb, who lives in the Netherlands, forwarded the internal papers to the journalists, according to the British BCC. Experts have checked the authenticity. Researcher Rian Thum from the University of Nottingham said, according to NDR, the lists documented "an enormous act of collective punishment" that was ultimately racially motivated.

The lists, according to reports, give other reasons why people were brought into the camps. According to the NDR, the most frequently mentioned violation of China's birth control laws. Other reasons are: "Person who was on the [Islamic pilgrimage] Hajj". It also says: "Website clicked that contains links to undesirable foreign websites" or "stay away from the flag for no reason". Keeping the restaurant closed during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan is also mentioned. "Veiling the wife" and "relatives of a person who is being searched for abroad" are further reasons.

According to this information, isolated individuals are also suspected of being members or sympathizers of Islamist terror groups. According to NDR, the list also shows that Uyghurs from certain birth cohorts have been categorically classified as particularly dangerous - especially young men.

An estimated ten million Uyghurs live in China, most of them in Xinjiang. They are ethnically related to the Turks and feel economically, politically and culturally oppressed by the ruling Han Chinese. After they came to power in Beijing in 1949, the communists incorporated the former East Turkestan into China. Beijing accuses Uighur groups of separatism and terrorism.