A series of classified Chinese government documents were leaked by a group of journalists describe the secret operations of detention camps in Xinjiang, reported Reuters.
Published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) Sunday, the documents offer a rare look into the massive internment camp for Muslim-majority Uyghur in the troubled western region of China.
The 2017 documents reveal a list of guidelines "that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities," said ICIJ.
The leak shows intelligence briefings of "how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention," said ICIJ.
The manual, called a "telegram," is a six-page document that "instructs camp personnel on such matters as how to prevent escapes, how to maintain total secrecy about the camps' existence, methods of forced indoctrination, how to control disease outbreaks, and when to let detainees see relatives or even use the toilet," ICIJ adds.
The US State Department recently said nearly 2 million Muslim Uyghurs are being detained in camps in the western region of the country.
The manual also reveals the minimum detention time is about one year.
Reuters wasn't able to confirm the authenticity of the leaked documents.
This is the second data dump of leaked documents on detention camps in Xinjiang in under two weeks.
403 pages of internal documents were leaked earlier this month to the New York Times that describe a clampdown in Xinjiang - a resource-rich territory located on the border of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia - where authorities have "corralled as many as a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs, and others into internment camps and prisons over the past three years."
In August, The Wall Street Journal published satellite images of the detention camps:
Satellite images reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and a specialist in photo analysis show that camps have been growing. Construction work has been carried out on some within the past two weeks, including at one near the western city of Kashgar that has doubled in size since Journal reporters visited in November.
The full extent of the internment program was long obscured because many Uighurs feared speaking out. Now more are recounting experiences, including six former inmates interviewed by the Journal who described how they or other detainees had been bound to chairs and deprived of adequate food.
Top above shows a camp near Kashgar, China on April 17, 2017 according to the WSJ.
Below shows same camp on August 15, 2018, which appears to have doubled in size. Image source: Wall Street Journal
The Uyghur American Association via Buzzfeed: "A satellite photo of a Chinese reeducation camp near Korla city in central Xinjiang. GPS coordinates were provided by a Uighur exile who had visited the camp."
Satellite image of a re-education camp in Makit, Xinjiang (above). Source: Shawn Zhang via Medium.
The classified documents, leaked to Western media outlets, have sparked an international outcry over China's human rights in the Xinjiang region. Led by the US and 30 other countries, they have labeled the detention centers a "horrific campaign of repression."