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Eight Billion - The Overseas Podcast: What are the Xinjiang Police Files doing in China?


The leaked data from the province of Xinjiang shows large parts of the western world: the one-party dictatorship is systematically oppressing the Uyghur minority. And what do people in China get out of it?

Enlarge image

The Uyghur flag as a mask - silenced and wept by China's hand.

Demonstrator in Munich, August 2020

Photo: Sachelle Babbar / ZUMA PRESS / IMAGO

“We are looking at the protocols of a dictatorship here.”

This statement by SPIEGEL correspondent Christoph Giesen sums up in one sentence how clearly the Xinjiang Police Files document the systematic oppression of the Uyghur minority in China: »These images reveal that the eyewitness reports that have existed before are authentic and correct and what the Chinese propaganda has been telling for the past two or three years is shameful lies«.

But that is our, German, Western knowledge.

But what do people in China find out about the research, the many photos, minutes of conversations and internal speeches by state officials?

How can they even know about it when every person can be checked at any time whether he or she is running a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to circumvent Chinese censorship of critical media, which can result in years of imprisonment?

more on the subject

  • Answers to the most important questions: What are the Xinjiang Police Files about? By Christoph Giesen, Frederik Obermaier, Bastian Obermayer and Bernhard Zand

  • Torture chair, order to shoot, assault rifles: data leak gives unique insight into China's brutal apparatus of repression

  • Repression in Xinjiang: How China Established a Gulag for MuslimsBy Bernhard Zand

  • Xinjiang Expert Zenz: China's Public EnemyBy Christoph Giesen and Bernhard Zand

  • Interview with Uyghur President Dolkun Isa: "Now it's happening again: a genocide - and Germany is watching" An interview by Christoph Giesen and Frederik Obermaier

"The truth is, up until now, practically no regime in the world has really succeeded in completely suppressing the movement of an ethnically or religiously independent group," says Bernhard Zand, who has also reported from China for many years for SPIEGEL.

“For example, when we talk about the Kurds or other minorities where a state has a similar intention.

But there are many indications that China could be the first country to do so.


How the Chinese surveillance system has developed, what it means that the Xinjiang Police Files only contain data up to the end of 2018 and why the publications are still perceived by the Chinese population - Christoph Giesen and Bernhard Zand talk about this in this episode of SPIEGEL -Podcasts »Eight Billion«.

Listen to the current episode here:

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-05-27

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