The images from China's west, which are said to come from the servers of Chinese security authorities, are hard to bear.

In one photo, a pale girl looks anxiously at her captors.

Her name: Rahile Omer, from the ethnic group of the Uyghurs, only 15 years old when brought to a prison in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang.

In another picture, a Uighur sits in a torture chair in front of Chinese police officers.

Another shows ten heavily armed security guards.

The second photo of the scene documents who the Chinese raise their assault rifles and batons against: two men kneeling on the ground, black hoods over their heads, their hands tied in chains.

the true face

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) finds the pictures published by a group of international media on Tuesday "shocking".

It is well known that China's government is committing systematic human rights violations against the Uyghur minority under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

For this reason, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has been in Beijing since Monday and wants to travel on to Xinjiang.

The United Nations estimates that a million Uyghurs were at one time held in prisons and re-education camps in the region.

But the new photos and data, which have been leaked to the German anthropologist and longtime Xinjiang observer Adrian Zenz, show for the first time in great detail the identities, allegations of guilt and prison conditions of the imprisoned Uyghurs documented by the Chinese authorities themselves.

Some of them are in their teens, some in their 70s.

Many have been sentenced to extremely long prison terms for "terrorist activities" for praying or going to a gym.

The Chinese leadership's assertion that Xinjiang is a "vocational training camp" can no longer be substantiated.

Especially in the Western world, the images reinforce the impression that the second largest economy is showing its true colors these days.

At first, China's government did not want to leave Moscow's side after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Then the dictatorship in the eight-week lockdown in Shanghai showed how brutally it treats the population, even in the most important economic center, who, unlike in Xinjiang, are among the country's elite.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned the West against sacrificing long-term security needs on the altar of economic interests.

"Freedom is more important than free trade," said Stoltenberg.

"Defending values ​​is more important than defending profits." In this context, Stoltenberg criticized the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. But one should also think about dealing with China.

Nothing fundamentally speaks against trade with China, but it would be negligent to give China control of Western telecommunications networks in this process.

In Germany, too, the ever-closer economic ties to China, the largest trading partner, must be stopped, according to the federal government.

Finance Minister Lindner announced on Tuesday that "velvet paws because of our interests" should not exist.

The "enormous dependence of the German economy on the Chinese market" is "particularly depressing" due to the reports on human rights violations.

Germany should immediately ratify the CETA free trade agreement with Canada and start talks "with other value partners like the USA" in order to "differentiate" Germany's trade relations.