Victims Of Communism Launches Person Search Feature Based On Xinjiang Police Files
Uyghurs can now search 5 million records
Last week, the Victims of Communism (VOC) Memorial Foundation released the Xinjiang Person Search Tool allowing the public to search over 700,000 personnel records contained in the Xinjiang, China Police files.
The data contained in the files represents the most significant hack of confidential documents from directly inside Xinjiang police computers containing information on the victims of Beijing’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
For the first time, VOC’s Xinjiang Person Search Tool provides concrete information at scale from China’s own internal documents including data, images, and information about the sentences, detention status, reason for detention, and whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of victims of the Chinese Communist Party’s mass internment and repression of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
The Xinjiang Police Files are dated from 2017-18, the height of Beijing’s “strike hard” campaign that has now swept 1-2 million Uyghurs into re-education camps.
“VOC is honored to share the Xinjiang Person Search Tool with the Uyghur community,” said Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “This information will empower victims and their families to tell their stories, seek justice, and hopefully galvanize international action to hold Beijing accountable.”
With the new tool, Uyghurs can now search 5 million records containing data on approximately 750,000 persons from 48 Xinjiang counties, drawing from over 11,000 spreadsheets from the Xinjiang Police Files. VOC will continue adding information to the tool as its researchers and data scientists continue to analyze the Xinjiang Police Files cache.
“The Uyghur diaspora has been desperate for any information about their loved ones. The Xinjiang Police Files provide information that we wanted to make available,” said VOC’s China Director and Senior Fellow in China Studies Dr. Adrian Zenz. “For the first time, Uyghurs now have access to direct, detailed information on their relatives still living in Xinjiang, which may help advance efforts to engage international mechanisms for accountability and pursue justice for the victims.”
Alongside the Xinjiang Person Search Tool, VOC launched a United Nations Complaint Submission Portal allowing victims and their relatives to submit grievances that will be compiled for a report to the UN’s Special Procedures office.
VOC’s work on the Xinjiang Police Files has already helped victims such as Nuriman Abdulreshid, who learned the details of her family’s detention status from VOC’s private searching of the files after years of silence from Beijing.
Most of Nuriman’s relatives were found to have been detained for “disturbing the social order” or “planning terrorist activities” — labels the authorities often use to describe ordinary religious or cultural activity or peaceful protests as a pretext for arbitrary detention.
“Families of the victims of Beijing’s atrocities in Xinjiang now have an organized way to leverage the Xinjiang Police Files, put pressure on Beijing, and hopefully reduce the abuses against their loved ones,” said VOC’s CEO Ken Pope. “We hope this much-needed tool is used widely to help victims’ relatives find information about their families, raise global awareness of the victims, and demand appropriate redress from the Chinese regime.”
The Xinjiang Police Files are tens of thousands of files obtained through hacking by an anonymous third party directly into police computers in the Xinjiang region and passed to Dr. Adrian Zenz at VOC, whose expert team authenticated, analyzed, and released parts of the files in May 2022 in partnership with a media consortium of 14 world-leading outlets including the BBC, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais, and USA Today.
The Files include nearly 3,000 images of detained Uyghurs, speeches by senior officials implicating Beijing in the mass internment campaign, and detailed security instructions for running the re-education camps that instruct police forces to use sniper rifles, machine guns, and assault weapons to guard detainees, as well as showing that camp operation involves the use of torture devices such as tiger chairs and forced injections.
Since 2017, the Chinese government has arbitrarily detained between 1-2 million Uyghurs in detention camps and vocational training centers under the pretext of counterterrorism, the largest incarceration of an ethno-religious minority since the Holocaust.
To access the files as well as related research reports and media articles visit www.XinjiangPoliceFiles.com.
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