If Beijing is to be believed, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has just congratulated the country on its “significant achievements in protecting human rights”.

At least that's what it says in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Minister Wang Yi's meeting with Bachelet on Monday evening in Guangzhou.

The Chinese government made it clear that it would use the first visit by a UN human rights commissioner in 17 years for propaganda purposes.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

  • Follow I follow

Bachelet is in China for six days, visiting the cities of Kashgar and Urumchi in the western region of Xinjiang.

It is not to be expected that she will gain insights into the extent of the oppression of Uyghurs and other Muslim groups.

Just in time for her visit, new findings on the conditions in re-education camps and prisons in Xinjiang were released.

These are police documents that are said to have been stolen in a hacker attack on police servers in Xinjiang.

This is what various media report, to which the documents were handed over by the German researcher Adrian Zenz.

Zenz works for the American Foundation Commemorating the Victims of Communism.

He has been instrumental in exposing the alleged crimes against humanity that human rights activists believe are being committed in Xinjiang.

According to a report by the British broadcaster BBC, nothing is known about the author or authors of the hacker attack.

The records include more than 2,800 photos of internees, as well as shots from inside at least one of the camps.

Other documents list the reasons why the individuals concerned were detained or sentenced.

For example, a man was sentenced to ten years in prison for "studying Islamic scriptures with his grandmother."

A man was sentenced to almost 17 years in prison for growing a beard “under the influence of religious extremism”.

Bachelet will address "sensitive and important issues".

The verdicts make a mockery of the government's official announcements of measures to combat terrorism.

Reasons given for being detained in a re-education camp for at least a year include "illegal preaching" and traveling to "problematic countries."

According to earlier findings, China includes 26 countries, including neighboring Kazakhstan, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia.

A woman was put in a camp because her son was arrested.

In official speech, the reason is "relatives of internees".

In other words: kinky.

The documents also show that former Xinjiang Party chief Chen Quanguo gave guards at the re-education camps an order to shoot if they attempted to break out.

When asked by the 14 media outlets involved, which evaluated and verified the documents, including Der Spiegel, the Chinese embassy in Washington replied that "Xinjiang-related issues" are about counter-terrorism and deradicalization, not human rights or religion.

Much of the information was already known from previous data leaks.

What is new is that photos are included for the first time.

The documents date from 2018, when the detention campaign was rolled out across the board.

In the meantime, many of the camps have apparently been dissolved.

Many of the inmates were convicted and transferred to prisons.

Keywords: