Secret police, surveillance, and detentions: Chinese government “disappears” thousands of Muslims

According to the Associated Press, Chinese Muslims are being secretly arrested, imprisoned, or killed on a massive scale. The Chinese government views its Uighur minority as a national security threat.

The student’s friends think he joined the thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of people, rights groups and academics estimate, who have been spirited without trial into secretive detention camps for alleged political crimes that range from having extremist thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad. The mass disappearances, beginning the past year, are part of a sweeping effort by Chinese authorities to use detentions and data-driven surveillance to impose a digital police state in the region of Xinjiang and over its Uighurs, a 10-million strong, Turkic-speaking Muslim minority

The disappearances are aimed at “ostensibly rooting out terror — but [are] instead instilling fear.”

Chinese police now monitor the way Uighurs dress and look for signs of muslim extremism.

There are “police depots with flashing lights and foot patrols . . . every 500 meters (yards)— a total of 1,130. . . . The AP saw cavalcades of more than 40 armored vehicles including full personnel carriers rumble down city boulevards. Police checkpoints on every other block stop cars to check identification and smartphones for religious content.”

The government uses facial recognition technology on a massive scale, and requires every car to install GPS trackers for real-time monitoring. “And since late last year, Xinjiang authorities have required health checks to collect the population’s DNA samples. In May, a regional police official told the AP that Xinjiang had purchased $8.7 million in DNA scanners — enough to analyze several million samples a year.”

The government has also enlisted a massive army of undercover informants embedded in the community , so no Uighur can ever trust his neighbor. See here.