Video posted online last month shows several hundred prisoners who are handcuffed and blindfolded being taken away from a train. Of course prisoner transfers happen everywhere in the world, but in this case, the prisoners are from China’s Xinjiang province who were likely arrested because they are Muslim:
For the last two-and-a-half years, China has been detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in what Beijing alternately describes as “voluntary de-radicalization camps” and “vocational training centers.” Former detainees have described them as closer to internment camps, however, and allegations of abuse are rampant, including in firsthand accounts given to CNN describing torture and forced political re-education under the threat of violence.
A western intelligence official told CNN they believed the video was authentic.
“China needs to be challenged for this behavior,” the official said. “So many countries support China on human rights without understanding that it appears to be attempting to wipe out the entire Uyghur identity.”
CNN also spoke to former prisoners who said they remember being transferred on trains exactly as shown in the video:
Amanzhan Seiit, a Muslim ethnic Kazakh, said he was detained in China in 2018, but was never told what for. After several weeks in one camp, he said he was moved to another in a fashion exactly the same as shown in the video.
“We were made to sit just like that,” he told CNN. “They put cuffs on our hands and legs and masks over our heads. Lots of police were there with guns.”
Here’s the full clip:
Last Friday, PBS ran a 15-minute story that mentioned the video. This report interviewed several former prisoners of the re-education camps who say the camps are set up like jails where prisoners are indoctrinated every day. But the indoctrination doesn’t end with the camps. China actually sends Han Chinese to live with Uyghur families in their homes as a kind of on-site minder for the state. In Xinjiang, the cultural revolution lives on complete with struggle sessions and persecution of anyone who doesn’t fall in line with the communist authorities. This is the future the people of Hong Kong are hoping to avoid.
Here’s the report and, rest assured, the NBA has nothing negative to say about any of this: