A “brave” man in China believes he has found the concentration camps the country has reported for Uyghurs.
An independent non-government investigation released a report earlier this year which claimed that the Chinese government (CCP) was behind an “ongoing genocide against the Uyghur people” and “violated the United Nations Genocide Convention “.
The CCP has rejected all claims that it is running a state-sponsored program in the far west of the country.
Instead, they claim the camps are helping to “re-educate” Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, to Chinese values.
No less than a million Uyghurs have been kidnapped and taken to camps since the start of the program.
Because foreign journalists are not allowed to visit Xinjiang, a man who calls himself Guanguan went to the area to see if he could find these camps.
He initially traveled to the far west in 2019, but returned there last year after seeing international reports of what allegedly happened.
Guanguan has released a 20-minute documentary about his findings and they are breathtaking.
In one scene, you can see the man carefully climbing a hill in Urumqi in Dabancheng District to get a vision of what looks like a prison.
The structure had watchtowers and surveillance cameras dotted around the perimeter and appeared to be unoccupied.
Another camp had the slogan “Reform through work, cultural reform” written on a building.
He manages to find 18 different camps in Kumul, in the Kazakh Autonomous County of Mori, in Fukang, in Urumqi, on the outskirts of Korla and in Yunqi.
The documentary filmmaker relied on Mapbox satellite maps from 2017 and China’s Baidu search engine to find some of the locations.
However, he revealed that the other camps he discovered could not be found on any map.
He wondered if they were so new that the maps hadn’t been updated or if they had been purposely erased to maintain secrecy.
At the end of his documentary, Guangan said, “The Chinese government’s persecution of Uyghurs is beyond imagination.
“Whoever does not wish to be enslaved cannot bear to see others enslaved. Down with the CCP, may it be dissolved as soon as possible in order to end its anti-humanity misdeeds.
The filmmaker has been praised for his bravery in securing crucial footage of the camps that does not appear on any map.
Architect and geospatial analyst Alison Killing said the clips would go a long way in helping international authorities keep track of what’s going on in China.
“I was really amazed when I saw this video,” she told Radio Free Asia.
“The first thing to say is how brave this guy was to go to Xinjiang and find these camps.”
“It’s really helpful to have this imagery at ground level that helps us corroborate what we’re seeing in satellite imagery and helps us confirm that what we thought we were seeing from above is really vast.”