Leaked docs give inside view of China’s mass detention camps


>>Stewart: LAST MONTH, A TROVE OF LEAKED DOCUMENTS REVEALED AN EXCEPTIONAL INSIDE VIEW OF CHINA’S MASS DETENTION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES IN NORTHWEST CHINA AND IT’S GROWING COMPLEX OF INTERNMENT CAMPS. HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY “THE NEW YORK TIMES” REVEALED INTERNAL SPEECHES FROM PRESIDENT XI JINPING, AS WELL AS DIRECTIVES FROM SENIOR OFFICIALS ON HOW TO MANAGE INDOCTRINATION CAMPS. ADDITIONAL LEAKED DOCUMENTS WERE LATER GIVEN TO OTHER JOURNALISTS DETAILING HOW, IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, UIGHURS AND OTHER MUSLIM MINORITIES HAVE BEEN DETAINED FOR IDEOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION AND WERE KEPT ISOLATED FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD. NEWSHOUR WEEKEND’S HARI SREENIVASAN RECENTLY SPOKE ABOUT THOSE FINDINGS WITH AUSTIN RAMZY, ONE OF THE REPORTERS FROM “THE NEW YORK TIMES” WHO FIRST BROKE THE STORY.>>WE RECEIVED 400 PAGES OF INTERNAL DOCUMENTS DESCRIBING THE HISTORY OF HOW THESE CAMPS CAME ABOUT. IT SHOWED THAT, THAT XI JINPING, UM, CHINESE PRESIDENT, HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR SOME SORT OF ANSWER TO THE PROBLEMS OF SEPARATISM AND RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM IN XINJIANG. AND SO, FIVE YEARS AGO HE GAVE SOME VERY TOUGH SPEECHES. SHORTLY AFTER THAT, WE BEGAN TO SEE SOME SMALL CAMPS AND THEN IN 2017 THE GROWTH OF THESE INDOCTRINATION CAMPS REALLY TAKES OFF. IT REALLY CLASHES WITH THE PUBLIC FACE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO PUT ON THESE FACILITIES THAT THEY’RE, THEY’RE SIMPLY BOARDING SCHOOLS FOR PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE COMMITTED SOME SORT OF MINOR INFRACTION, A WAY TO GIVE THEM SOME JOB TRAINING AND HELP THEM MOVE ON TO BETTER LIVES. AND THESE INTERNAL DOCUMENTS, WE SEE A LOT OF THE HARM THAT IS DONE TO FAMILIES, CHILDREN WHO HAVE THEIR PARENTS TAKEN AWAY.>>Sreenivasan: YOU EVEN POINT OUT THAT THERE ARE BASICALLY SCRIPTS TO DEAL WITH THE QUESTIONS THAT FAMILIES WILL HAVE WHEN ONE OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IS MYSTERIOUSLY VANISHED.>>YES, THAT WAS PERHAPS THE MOST REVEALING DOCUMENT IN ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE RECEIVED. IT WAS SORT OF A SAMPLE Q&A FOR OFFICIALS TO HANDLE STUDENTS WHO WERE STUDYING IN OTHER PARTS OF CHINA AND THEN RETURN HOME TO LEARN THAT THEIR PARENTS OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WERE IN A CAMP. AND THE DOCUMENT IS FULL OF THIS SORT OF PSEUDO MEDICAL LANGUAGE DESCRIBING THE FAMILY MEMBER AS SOMEONE WHO’S THINKING HAS BEEN INFECTED, AND SO THEY NEEDED TO BE PUT IN TREATMENT AND CURED.>>Sreenivasan: WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN THESE CAMPS? HOW ARE THEY ACTUALLY STRUCTURING THESE PLACES? THE ONES THAT THEY SAID ARE JUST FOR RE EDUCATION OR VOCATIONAL EXPERIENCE. WHAT ARE THESE NEW DOCUMENTS REVEALING THAT TELL US THAT THAT’S NOT REALLY THE CASE?>>THESE DOCUMENTS INCLUDE ONE INCREDIBLY INTERESTING NINE PAGE DOCUMENT THAT’S A SET OF ORDERS THAT WAS SENT OUT IN 2017 OF HOW CAMP SHOULD BE RUN. IT REALLY DESCRIBES THIS, KIND OF, PRISON-LIKE SITUATION. AND, IN FACT, SOME OF THE LANGUAGE IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS USED IN PRISONS IN TERMS OF PREVENTING ESCAPES AND PREVENTING INCIDENTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. UM, VERY STRICT CONTROLS ON PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE. UM, ORDERS TO HAVE PEOPLE MONITOR EACH OTHER OR ESSENTIALLY SPY ON EACH OTHER. AND SO, THESE DOCUMENTS, THIS DOCUMENT IN PARTICULAR, IS PROBABLY THE MOST DETAILED LOOK AT HOW THE CAMPS ARE RUN.>>Sreenivasan: SO, GIVE ME AN IDEA. I KNOW IT’S HARD TO PIN DOWN AN EXACT NUMBER, BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN THESE CAMPS IN THE WEST OF CHINA NOW?>>WELL, SCHOLARS HAVE LOOKED AT THIS, TAKING THAT SATELLITE DATA AND CONSTRUCTION DATA AS WELL TO TRY AND CREATE ESTIMATES AND THEY BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE A MILLION OR MORE.>>Sreenivasan: A MILLION OR MORE PEOPLE IN THE CAMPS NOW. AND, YOU KNOW, GOING BACK TO KIND OF THAT FIRST SET OF DOCUMENTS, WHAT WAS ALSO INTERESTING IS THAT YOU FOUND THAT SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAD TO CARRY OUT THE POLICIES OF TAKING PEOPLE AND PUTTING THEM INTO CAMPS, IT WASN’T THAT EASY FOR THEM. THERE WAS KIND OF SOME INTERNAL DISSENT.>>THAT’S RIGHT. I MEAN, ASIDE FROM THE LEAK OF THE DOCUMENTS THEMSELVES, THERE WERE SIGNS WITHIN THE DOCUMENTS OF OFFICIALS WHO RESISTED. IN ONE CASE THERE’S A DETAILED DESCRIPTION, AND HE DOESN’T REALLY SEEM TO BE DOING IT FOR HIGH MINDED IDEALS. HE JUST THINKS THAT IT’S NOT GONNA WORK. SO IT SEEMS LIKE INTERNALLY THERE’S, THERE’S ALSO SENSE THAT THIS PROGRAM IS NOT, IS NOT WORKING.>>Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT. AUSTIN RAMZY OF “THE NEW YORK TIMES” JOINING US VIA SKYPE FROM HONG KONG. THANKS SO MUCH.>>MY PLEASURE.

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