A trove of internal and confidential police photos and documents, known as the “Xinjiang Police Files” from within China, has been described as the “largest and most significant leak” to date by the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The information provides a window into Beijing’s policy and treatment of the Uyghur ethnic minority group, including the detention of Uyghurs in re-education camps. Rights organizations have accused China of crimes against humanity.
In the past, China has repeatedly denied these accusations and called them lies. China’s state news agency, Xinhua, has said the vocational training centers serve as “preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization measures.”
The data from within Xinjiang police computer networks was leaked to one of the organization’s researchers, Adrian Zenz, who shared the content with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media outlets. Andrew Bremberg, president of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, spoke to VOA Pashto service’s Shaista Lami about the Xinjiang police files. The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
VOA: Please shed some light, first of all, on the release of these papers, the leak from Xinjiang police (computer) network. What does it tell the world?
Andrew Bremberg: Yes, this is an unprecedented cache of documents directly from Xinjiang police computer servers. This was a hack, in fact not a leak, that someone kind of smuggled out but a hack of tens of thousands of documents that provide the most in-depth understanding of what is actually happening in Xinjiang over the last several years.
These materials include thousands of photos, the first photos of their kind that show both individuals who have been detained and the internal security operations of how this police state system works in terms of detention. (It) also has thousands of files that show the internal security…