Re-Education Camp Security and Political Paranoia in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Peer reviewed academic article published with the Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies
From 2017, the Chinese government detained over one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang in so-called vocational centers. Previously, witnesses and leaked state documents outlined the securitised nature of these re-education facilities. Now, the “Xinjiang Police Files,” a major cache of classified files from internal Chinese police networks, provides an unprecedented inside view. Detailed security instructions for re-education camps describe special police units carrying military assault weapons and show guards handcuffing detainees.
The files include thousands of images of detained Uyghurs, along with candid speeches by leading officials. They show leaders’ impassioned demands to treat persons from ethnic groups like dangerous criminals, and to readily open fire to stop escapees. This article authenticates and contextualizes the Xinjiang Police Files within the growing field of published internal Xinjiang government documents.