- Drone footage anonymously posted to YouTube appears to show hundreds of male prisoners in Xinjiang, western China, tied up and wearing blindfolds.
- China has installed a 21st century police state in the region, where the US has accused Beijing of housing more than a million Uighur Muslims in “concentration camps.”
- Authorities in Xinjiang told CNN: “Transporting inmates by judicial authorities (is related) to normal judicial activities.”
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Drone footage posted anonymously on YouTube last month appears to show hundreds of male prisoners tied up and wearing blindfolds in China’s autonomous Xinjiang, home to millions of China’s ethnic minority Uighurs currently housed in detention centers.
The video, posted on September 17, shows men dressed in purple vests with the words “Kashgar Detention Center” on the back. Kashgar is a major city in Xinjiang.
Officers dressed in all black can be seen standing over the men, who appear blindfolded and seated on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs.
Watch the footage here:
“These videos were taken in China,” the caption said. “This is the long-term suppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,” referring to the region’s official name.
Uygur is an alternate spelling for Uighur, the majority-Muslim ethnic minority living in Xinjiang. Since 2016 they have been subjected to unprecedented surveillance and oppression by Chinese authorities, which involves installing spyware on phones and arbitrary detentions.
The US has accused China of housing more than a million Uighur Muslims in “concentration camps” in Xinjiang.
Business Insider could not independently verify the origin of the video.
Chinese authorities have not confirmed or responded to the video, but officials in Xinjiang told CNN in an October 4 statement: “Transporting inmates by judicial authorities [is related] to normal judicial activities.”
“Xinjiang’s crackdown on crimes has never been linked to ethnicities or religions,” they added, apparently referring to widespread reports of Beijing targeting Muslims in the region.
Prisoners in China are commonly transported while wearing blindfolds, CNN reported.
Last month, China was accused of harvesting human organs from persecuted groups in the country.
The China Tribunal, a group that’s investigating the organ harvesting, told the UN that China was taking hearts, kidneys, lungs, and skin from groups including Uighur Muslims.
On Monday, the US blacklisted 28 Chinese tech firms accused of abetting the oppression of Uighurs. Eight of them are eight major tech companies, three of which are AI startups valued at over $1 billion.