New details of torture, cover-ups in China's internment camps revealed in Amnesty International report

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Every one of 55 former detainees who spoke to Amnesty International described cruelty or torture in Chinese "re-education" camps for Muslims, new report says.
The prevalence of torture and the lengths to which the Chinese government has gone to cover up its treatment of Muslim minorities are described in comprehensive detail in an Amnesty International report on detention camps in Western China.

Every former camp detainee Amnesty interviewed in the report recounted cruel and degrading treatment, including torture. The report, released Thursday, is based on interviews with 108 people, including 55 camp survivors and several government cadres who worked in the camps.

As part of an attempt to hide camp conditions from the world, Chinese officials created a massive, nearly week-long bonfire, burning as many documents as could be found from an office overseeing the camps, according to an ex-cadre who spoke to Amnesty and whose identity has been concealed for his safety.

The report also gives a behind the scenes look at the "tours" of the camps that the government gives to international journalists, which are meant to paint the facilities, which Chinese officials call "re-education camps," in a positive light.

The document burning occurred in 2019 following a leak of a trove of official Chinese government documents revealing the high-level organization and planning of the internment camps. They were published as part of a global reporting project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that included NBC News.

A coordinated government effort to control information about the camps in the wake of the leak was first reported by the Associated Press.

The government cadre who said he attended the burning told Amnesty "it took five or six days to burn everything [in the office]. It was not only the [detainees'] files. It is any re-education–related materials. For example, all notes from meetings."

Chinese authorities in the western region of Xinjiang have been rounding up…
Anna Schecter
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