Leak to New York Times Should Be Followed By Action From International Community

World Uyghur Congress, 18 November 2019

A significant leak of Chinese Communist Party documents, including high level speeches and directives, has provided a much clearer picture of the origin and nature of China’s policy of mass internment as well as the motivations of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The documents, leaked by a member of the Chinese political establishment “in hopes that their disclosure would prevent Communist Party leaders, from escaping responsibility”, include demands from Xi Jinping himself for an all-out “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism” using the “organs of dictatorship” and to show “absolutely no mercy.”

Language contained in many of the speeches and directives substantially deviates from the narrative often portrayed to the international community by the CCP. Use of language portraying Islam and the Uyghur identity as a “virus” that requires an intervention or cure supports past reporting.

President of the World Uyghur Congress, Dolkun Isa, said in response, “The international community no longer has an excuse to stay silent. The documents reveal a premeditated policy from the highest levels of the Chinese government to eradicate our identity.”

The document also include question-and-answer “scripts” to be distributed to local officials to respond to queries about missing family members of students returning from abroad or the mainland. Such directives reveal an understanding from Party officials that the detentions will have a sever effect on family members.

Also critical is information showing some dissent within the CCP as well as for local officials—some of whom refused to fully implement directives. In one case, a Party official ordered the release of more than 7,000 camp inmates, which led to his detention and prosecution.

The documents contribute to our collective understanding of what is taking place in one of the most closed-off regions in the world today. The uncovered facts continue to contradict much of what the Chinese government claims in public about their policies towards the Uyghur population.

The documents must serve as a basis for the international community to take concrete steps to push back against widespread rights abuses. This may include economic sanctions and import controls, an expedited asylum process for Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims outside of China, and more vocal calls from states for China to allow independent observers access to the Uyghur region.