CHINA Chinese vlogger films Uyghur concentration camps in Xinjiang

Acting as a tourist, Guanguan went to various places to verify the existence of the detention camps. He found 18 different locations active and one abandoned. Han ethnic Chinese have confirmed the existence of forced labor. The EU renews its sanctions against China’s crackdown on its Turkish-speaking population.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – 30-year-old Chinese vlogger filmed several detention centers in Xinjiang, ostensibly detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkish-speaking Muslims.

Impersonating a tourist, Guanguan would have visited the province in 2020 to verify the existence of the concentration camps as claimed by the Western media.

According to the United Nations, various humanitarian groups and independent researchers, China has placed more than one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz people in camps, described by local authorities as “vocational training” facilities, from from 2017.

In his video, who has been on YouTube since Oct. 1, Guanguan says he wants to fill the gaps caused by the lack of information on Xinjiang. Due to Chinese restrictions, foreign journalists cannot easily report or interview in the autonomous region

The vlogger visited the places cited by the researchers, identified as re-education camps, detention centers or prisons.

In addition, he used the GPS coordinates of 260 places of detention identified by Buzzfeed, and used satellite images and information found on the web in their research.

In the provincial capital of Urumqi and other places in Xinjiang, the “citizen journalist” filmed highly protected sites, with walls stretching for hundreds of meters, as well as watchtowers and barbed wire.

Guanguan also looked into the issue of forced labor, which he had also heard about from the Han ethnicity, the majority ethnic group in China, living in Xinjiang.

As he risked jail time for divulging state secrets, Guanguan fled to the United States.

According to Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the Chinese vlogger filmed 18 different concentration camps in operation and an abandoned facility.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union have imposed sanctions on China for its crackdown on the Uyghurs.

Permanent ambassadors to the EU on Wednesday gave the green light to renew punitive measures against four senior officials and a government agency in Xinjiang.

The decision will be formally adopted next month, but it excludes for the moment the ratification of an investment treaty signed in December 2020 by the European Union and China.

The Chinese government has responded to EU sanctions with its own countermeasures against European officials and entities.

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