As the Chinese government denies U.S. State Department accusations about the treatment of its minority Uighurs, a video emerged that may show thousands of blindfolded Uighurs being forced to wait at a train station in China.
Who are the Uighurs?
The Uighurs are a mostly Muslim ethnic minority group that lives in the Xinjiang region on the western edge of China. Since they don't conform to what the Communist regime believes to be compliant behavior, the Chinese government has been arresting them en masse and placing them in camps. The U.S. State Department estimated that as many as 2 million Uighurs have been arrested so far. At least some of them are used as forced labor.
The Chinese government insists that these prisoners are "trainees" who are going to "vocational education" centers in order to learn how not to be terrorists.
The Chinese government has also ordered the Uighurs to stop practicing their Muslim faith and studying their own language.
What happened now?
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Chinese government's actions against the Uighurs an "attempt to erase its own citizens."
On Monday, the Chinese government criticized Pompeo. According to CBS News, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the United States was slandering "China's policy toward Xinjiang and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs."
"These measures are no different in nature from the de-radicalization and preventive counter-terrorism measures taken by many other countries, including the United States," Geng said. "The lies of U.S. politicians can't deceive the world and only further reveals their ulterior political goals."
What about the video?
A YouTube account named "War on Fear" uploaded a video on Sept. 17. The video seems to have been taken by some sort of a drone, and it shows security forces detaining what appears to be hundreds of people who seem to be wearing blue vests and kneeling on a platform near a train. The detainees are clearly blindfolded. At the end of the video, they are seen being led by security forces off of the train platform and through a gate. This YouTube account has not uploaded any additional videos.
Nathan Ruser is an analyst who last year discovered that a fitness app was revealing the location of troop movements in Syria. He currently works for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Center, and said he had figured out that the video was from a train station in Xinjiang and that it had been taken in August of last year.
In a Sept. 21 Twitter thread, Ruser explained how he used Google Earth and details from the images in the video to pinpoint the exact time and place that this happened. He also said that they were being moved to a nearby detention center.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne had called the video "deeply disturbing."
新疆 : 新讲 Xinjiang : a New Explanation www.youtube.com