Skip to main content

tv   How to Brainwash a Million...  BBC News  November 27, 2019 3:30am-4:01am GMT

3:30 am
in the us seized. the mexican foreign minister has said he doesn't the us to take that idea any further. now it's time for panorama. tonight on panorama, the truth about china's secret indoctrination camps. they are trying to fundamentally change an entire culture. leaked documents reveal how a superpower is trying to brainwash a million people. it looks like the nazi playbook to me. we have obtained secret government instructions to those who run the camps. never allow escapes, increase discipline and punishment.
3:31 am
this is an actionable piece of evidence documenting the gross human rights violations. and we confront the chinese state with our evidence. hundreds of thousands of people are held in these camps across xinjiang. what you're telling me bears no relation to what i've seen. i am saying don't listen to fake news. translation: they came at 10:00pm at night and put me into a police van with bars on the windows. and drove me away. this man is a farmer with three children. he was taken in the night, and didn't come home for nearly a year.
3:32 am
translation: they stripped me naked and put chains on my wrist. it was so frightening. they didn't see us as human beings. i didn't think i'd come out of this alive. his is the story of a million people. it's happening right now in china. in detention camps like this, in the remote and troubled region of xinjiang. for the first time, we know the truth about what goes on behind these walls. we've got this leaked chinese government document. it changes everything.
3:33 am
this is a document the world was never supposed to see — instructions on how to run a detention camp. it is a clear and brutal guide. it's one of a number of documents signed and approved in 2017 by china's top security official in xinjiang. they've been leaked to the international consortium of investigativejournalists. and verified by some of the world's leading experts. we are calling them the china cables. i'm convinced it's authentic, based on its contents, its design, its language, and how it fits and interacts with all the other data that i've
3:34 am
been gathering and analysing. they've made a decision here that they're going to brainwash an entire population, and so they're going to take a million people, put them into camps, and try to indoctrinate them. these are the camps our leaked documents describe. china has built hundreds of them in the last three years. they mostly hold uighur muslims. each of these camps has hundreds of detainees, held without charge. some hold thousands. there is one for every town. the scale is terrifying. china says there is nothing to worry about. their uk ambassador has said many times the camps arejust for training. the purpose is to help these young
3:35 am
people to have a better life, after education, training, education and vocational training. it's not a prison, it's not a camp. 0ur documents are important because we can prove for the first time that what china says is not true. they are high—security prison camps. it's clear theirjob is to brainwash people. inmates have to change the way they behave, what they believe, even the language they speak. never allow escapes. increase discipline and punishment. promote repentance and confession. make remedial mandarin studies the top priority. encourage students to truly transform. and the document reveals the chinese state wants all of this to stay secret.
3:36 am
i believe this document is very significant. it's evidently been issued at a high level, and it's classified as secret. and if you look at the contents, you can understand why the chinese government would not want this document to leak. this is the journey thousands have been forced to take, the long drive into one of the camps. the chinese government has only allowed diplomats and journalists in under strict supervision. the visits seem carefully stage—managed. chanting.
3:37 am
they say these people are here voluntarily, to learn new skills for free. but our documents show all this is a lie. # if you're happy and you know it, say yes, sir...#. until now, to know what it's like inside, we've relied on snatched footage and the testimony of former detainees. some are kazakhs, like this woman. she was detained in 2017 and spent 15 months in the camps, living under the regime in the documents. translation: of course it's a prison. you can't escape.
3:38 am
there's no freedom. when i first arrived in the camp, there were 800 women. there were cameras everywhere. all the bathrooms were equipped with cameras. we were always being monitored by the guards. the documents clearly state detainees should be watched constantly. there must be full video surveillance coverage of dormitories and classrooms, free of blind spots, ensuring that guards can monitor in real—time. and how every moment of a detainee's day is controlled.
3:39 am
translation: when you go into the cell, you have to sit and look forward. you're not allowed to move your head. when you lie down on your back, you have to have your head facing up, like this. without their permission, we couldn't even move. this is the first time the legal adviser for the uighurs has seen the document. the students should have a fixed bed position, fixed queue position, fixed classroom seat, and fixed station during skills work, and it is strictly forbidden for this to be changed. well, i've never seen anything like it, and the effect, one can very easily imagine, would be to destroy the personality of the individuals
3:40 am
who were subjected to it. the regime amounts to what is classified as inhuman or degrading treatment. translation: you can only sit where they tell you to sit, sleep where they tell you to sleep. each woman gets two minutes to go to the toilet. they tell you to be quick, quick, quick. if you are not quick enough, they shock you with an electric baton on the back of the head. it really hurt, and they did it a lot. even after being shocked, we had to say, thank you, teacher, we will not be late next time. the documents say guards should increase the discipline and punishment behavioural violations. translation: sometimes i cried a lot. i was missing my daughter and my home. they took me out
3:41 am
and made me sit down. they put chains on your hands, like that. if you have chains on your feet, you lean like this. if you move, it squeezes your wrists more and more. you don't know how long you will be sitting there. by the time it's over, your face is really swollen, and your feet and arms are swollen too. according to my latest data and estimates, i estimate that between 900,000 and 1.8 million people are or have been interned in one of these types of camps. the world should acknowledge this for what it is, the largest internment of an ethnic minority since the holocaust. so why are so many people being locked up, like these, in xinjiang last year?
3:42 am
well, the chinese government says it is fighting terrorism. they're muslims. they have a distinct culture and religion, and the central government has long regarded this ethnic minority community, predominantly uighurs, as disloyal. there has been tension for years. some want independence from china. a riot erupts. protesters, mainly from the uighur minority, tore up buses and cars with their bare hands. then they turned on local han chinese. hundreds of people have been killed in ethnic violence and terror attacks. the authorities have declared xinjiang the front line in china's war on terror.
3:43 am
the documents show how the authorities investigate and arrest people on a massive scale. 0ne memo says 211,000 suspicious persons were identified in one week in southern xinjiang. and more than 15,000 of them were sent on to the camps that same week. this woman says her husband was detained simply for having the wrong app on his phone. translation: they said he had whatsapp on his phone so, for that reason, on november 2nd, 2017, he was imprisoned in a camp. he is a good man.
3:44 am
it is in two years now. it's difficult for a woman with a family to survive on her own. being locked up for having whatsapp sounds hard to believe, but our documents show how it happens. this memo shows the authorities identified 1.8 million people who had a different data sharing app on their phone. they ordered the investigation,
3:45 am
of 40,557 of them, one by one. the document says... the people of xinjiang are now the most watched in the world. translation: there are cameras on every street. when i went to the local council, there was a screen there. i could see every street in our village. everything is being monitored. the government has literally covered this region with cameras, so that there's no blind spot. surveillance is everywhere.
3:46 am
if you go through uighur neighbourhoods or suburbs, you see cameras over literally every house entrance, so that the government can see who enters and who leaves. there is a camera pointing at every house? yes. the authorities gather an extraordinary amount of data about the lives of every resident, everything from what you do online to the people you meet, even how much electricity you use. how low is the bar for being highlighted by the system? are you socialising more or less with your neighbours? have you put gas in somebody else's car? are you going out the front door of your house instead of the back door of your house? that's how low the bar is, that which door of your house you're using can flag to the authorities that you're somehow behaving or in other manner that is suspicious and requires further investigation. another leaked memo shows that people who have left xinjiang but return to visit are also considered to be potential terrorists.
3:47 am
it says that where a suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out... gulzera says that is what happened to her. translation: they said separatist and terrorist ideas come from foreign countries, so you need to be re—educated. they said, your ideas have been poisoned. when i found out it was going to be for a year, it was a terrible shock. my only dream was to die. when we wrote to china's uk ambassador about our evidence, he said we were making "fact—distorting comments."
3:48 am
in the past three years, there was not a single terrorist attack in xinjiang. he said, people were living a happier life, with a much stronger sense of fulfilment and security. and that: so, what is the point of a superpower looking up a million people? well, we now know it's so they can be transformed. "promotes the repentance and confession of the students, for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past activity. it is very difficult, on that scale, with more than a million people in those conditions, to view that as anything other than a mass brainwashing scheme designed and directed at an entire ethnic community.
3:49 am
and this is one of the brain washers. she says she was forced to teach inside the camps. after four months, she fled the country. she is the first insider to speak out. translation: we would teach them over and over. "i can't survive without the communist party. " "the communist party shows me the only way to live my life." if you ask me about the ultimate goal of the government, it is to make ethnic minorities chinese. it's not about teaching them, it is about completely destroying them.
3:50 am
they said "we will brainwash you." "there is a problem with your ideas." we were told that religion was bad for us. they told us this every day. they're destroying my religion and language there. many people in xinjiang don't speak mandarin, the main language in china. the documents say learning mandarin is the top priority. translation: we weren't allowed to speak in kazakh, only chinese. they gave us chinese books. we were supposed to read
3:51 am
the book and once in our, we would stand up, sing the national anthem two or three times, looking at the flag, and then sit down again. it's a total transformation, and i think it's a transformation which is specifically and selectively designed to wipe the uighurs as a separate cultural group off the face of the earth. they're trying to change what people have believed, in terms of their religion. they're trying to change the language they speak in. i know president xi, i've talked with president xi, ijust cannot for the life of me understand why someone who, generally, has a pretty good sense of things, is making such a devastating decision.
3:52 am
to get out of the camps, detainees have to comply completely. 0ur documents show they're given points for behaviour and achievements. they have to earn enough to qualify for release. translation: there are exams. they're told that if they get good scores, they will be released. that's what they tell them every day. translation: so, there were times when i used to cheat. i used to write down the answers in between my fingers, because we believed it would help get us out of there. the document says, the detainees should be held in the camp for at least one year, and they should only be considered for release once four communist party committees have seen evidence that the individual has been transformed.
3:53 am
even when inmates are finally allowed to leave the camps, some are sent into forced labour. local grassroots organisations are responsible for follow—up health and education including police stations and the judicial office... stu d e nts students must not leave the line of sight for one year. translation: i hoped that after getting out of the camp, i would be able to go home to my family, to my daughter and my husband. they forced me to work for three months. they said, if we don't learn the skills, but we say we have something else to do, we will be sent back
3:54 am
to re—education. chinese tv filmed the factory where gulzera says she was forced to work. this man says he was made to work here as well. he says, even though they had left the camps, the indoctrination continued. translation: we were slaves working for them. when we came back to the dormitory in the evenings, we had lessons. then, we had to write down our mistakes, what we'd done wrong. we in the west, we just don't live under this thought control regime. we can't really fathom what it means, that you have to consult three, four, five different government authorities and get signatures, even extensive written reports, in order to be released
3:55 am
from an internment camp into forced labour. for us, that isjust beyond imagination. the chinese ambassador to the uk told us that attempts to smear china are futile and unpopular. he said, diplomats have witnessed the remarkable results of the preventive measures in xinjiang... there are those who think this leaked document should change things. an organisation that represents the main ethnic group in xinjiang, the uighurs, is based in washington. i showed them our leaked documents. everything that we've been hearing from the witnesses, from the survivors, everything that we've been told, is consistent with this document.
3:56 am
it looks like a nazi playbook to me. copies of this document should be on the desk of policymakers and legislators around the world. the chinese ambassador in london is still insisting that the camps are not prisons. last week, he held a press conference about the crisis in hong kong. but i wanted to ask him about the camps of xinjiang. my name is richard bilton, i'm a reporterfor bbc panorama. i wrote to you this week, sir, actually, about the camps in xinjiang. i know that they are prison camps. why won't you tell me the truth about those camps? first of all, i would say there is no so—called labour camps as you describe. there's what we call vocational, education and training centres.
3:57 am
they are there for the prevention of a terrorist... with respect, sir, i am sorry to interrupt you, but i have seen the orders that are sent to the prison camps, and they are prisons. what order you have, you mean the order said these are prison camps? they are orders for the people who run the camps and they are quite clear... no, this is pure fabrication. sir, it is true and they're brainwashing camps, they change the way people behave, what they believe, even the language they speak, so they are brainwashing camps, aren't they? i think there is no such order for prison camps. you know, in xinjiang, religious freedom is fully respected. just to be clear, the documents i've seen make it quite clear that people are held there, hundreds of thousands of people are held in these camps across xinjiang. what you're telling me bears no relation to what i've seen. what you — the so—called document you are talking that is a pure fabrication. don't listen to fake news. don't listen to fabrications.
3:58 am
the documents are not fake news. they're evidence of crimes against humanity. this is an actionable piece of evidence, documenting a gross human rights violation. this should be sitting in the files of a prosecutor. i do believe that countries will come together to say, this cannot be tolerated. we cannot allow this kind of indignity to take place in the world of the 21st century. china, one of the worlds are great powers, is caging hundreds of thousands of people in brainwashing camps. now, documents show how.
3:59 am
4:00 am
this is bbc news. welcome if you are watching here in the uk, on pbs in america, or around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: at the victoria falls, a dramatic change in water levels. we report from zimbabwe on drought, rising temperatures, and a new warning from the united nations. protestors turn their anger on malta's prime minister, as senior colleagues resign and police step up their investigation into the murder of an investigative journalist. bucking the trend of a longer, healthier life, death rates among america's young and middle—aged are rising. experts say opioid use and obesity could be major factors. and we ask the curators of baltimore's museum of art


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on