Uighurs detained in China: Australia attacks ‘shackled prisoners’ video | World News

Uighurs detained in China: Australia attacks ‘shackled prisoners’ video | World News




Australia’s foreign minister has called footage purporting to show hundreds of shackled and blindfolded Chinese Muslim prisoners by a train at a station “deeply disturbing”.

The comment by Marise Payne came after a European security source told Sky News that the images from northwest China are believed to be genuine.

“I am aware of the deeply disturbing video that has been published online,” Australia’s top diplomat told the news website news.com.au.

“I have previously raised Australia’s concerns about reports of mass detentions of Uighurs and other Muslim peoples in Xinjiang.

Video was posted anonymously on Twitter and YouTube
Image:
Video was posted anonymously on Twitter and YouTube

“We have consistently called for China to cease the arbitrary detention of Uighurs and other Muslim groups. We have raised these concerns – and we will continue to raise them – both bilaterally and in relevant international meetings.”

The footage, which looks to have been taken by a drone, was posted on Twitter and YouTube last Tuesday by an anonymous account called War on Fear. By Sunday evening, it had been viewed almost a quarter of a million times

The security source said the detainees – purportedly pictured with their hands bound and surrounded by guards – are thought to be members of China’s minority Uighur community.

Human rights organisations accuse China of holding one million people, mostly ethnic Uighurs, at sprawling detention camps in Xinjiang province, a charge Beijing strongly denies.

The footage shows lines of men, heads shaved, hands bound behind their back, sitting in lines on the floor or being moved by guards at a station in the city of Korla in Xinjiang, northwest China.

The European security source said: “We’ve examined the footage and believe it to be genuine.

“It shows up to 600 prisoners being moved; they’re shackled together, have shaved heads, are blindfolded and have their hands locked behind their backs. This is typical of the way the Chinese move this type of prisoner.”

The images were thought to have been taken earlier this year, the source added.

The detainees are thought to be from China’s minority Uighur Muslims, Sky sources said
Image:
The detainees are thought to be from China’s minority Uighur Muslims, Sky sources said

A researcher working for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre said he too thought the footage was authentic but dated it to August 2018.

Nathan Ruser set out his analysis on Twitter. “International warrants have been granted to prosecutors on the basis of social media videos which have been verified in such a manner,” he wrote.

Sky News was not able independently to verify the footage.

The Chinese embassy in London has yet to respond to questions about the clip submitted on Friday evening.

United Nations experts have spoken of “credible reports” of China holding one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities at mass detention camps in Xinjiang.

But earlier this year the governor of the province denied this was the case, calling the facilities “vocational training centres”.






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