Chinese Detective Details Torture Campaign Against Uyghurs

China has detained up to two million Uyghurs in Xinjiang internment camps since 2017

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• October 5, 2021 11:54 am


A former Chinese police detective on Tuesday told in detail how the Communist Party is carrying out a torture campaign against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, the ex-detective, who asked to be called Jiang to protect relatives in China, described the brutal campaign to forcibly detain and torture Uyghurs in the region. Detectives interrogate and beat Uyghurs, including women and children as young as 14 years old. The police torture detainees who do not comply through waterboarding, starvation, electrocution, or rape, among other methods. None of the detainees have committed any crimes, Jiang said, but torture ceases only when they have confessed to subversion. They are subsequently moved to prisons or internment camps.

"Some people see this as a job, some are just psychopaths," Jiang said, explaining how police beat detainees "until they kneel on the floor crying."

The Biden administration's approach to China thus far has stressed renewed trade negotiations and cooperation on climate change policies. In April, John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, and Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate change, released a joint statement "addressing the climate crisis," which included commitments to carbon neutrality and investments in renewable energy. U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai on Monday announced no change in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, saying the United States would enforce tariffs established during the Trump administration.

The Biden administration in March declared China's human rights abuses against Uyghurs as a genocide.

The ex-detective's story matches those of scores of Uyghurs interviewed about their time in Xinjiang's internment camps. China has detained up to two million Uyghurs in the camps since 2017, according to the State Department. But the regime has denied that human rights abuses take place there, often referring to their activities as "vocational education and training." In June, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said "genocide in Xinjiang is nothing but a rumor backed by ulterior motives and an outright lie."

When Jiang deployed to the region, however, his boss was clear about their purpose. He said China was sending police to Xinjiang to fight "separatist forces [that] want to split the motherland."

"We must kill them all," Jiang's boss told him.