China’s Uighurs and Technology-Enhanced Totalitarianism

February 13, 2018

This new video report from the Wall Street Journal provides exclusive interviews and rare images documenting the severe persecution of Uighur Muslims by China’s communist government.  Most of China’s Uighurs live in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.  In Xinjiang, the government has woven state-of-the-art technology in with its tried-and-true methods of totalitarian oppression.

Photo: WSJ Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State / Screenshot

Photo: WSJ Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State / Screenshot

Based in part on a massively intrusive census of residents’ personal information, the communist regime has created a system that assigns a national security score to every individual and family.  It sends those it scores as “unsafe” to prison-like “study centers” for political indoctrination and re-education.

China labels Uighur Muslims as both ethnic separatists and Islamic terrorists.  It has persecuted the religious minority group since it forcibly annexed Xinjiang into China in 1949.

The Chinese government installed its hyper-Orwellian domestic surveillance apparatus to reassert its control over the Uighur population after both riots against the oppression and violent attacks in recent years. Police stations have been set up every couple hundred yards in some Uighur neighborhoods.  Innumerable automated and manned facial-recognition checkpoints and the use of other cutting-edge technologies greatly limit Uighurs’ freedom of movement within their own region and towns.

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom have documented China’s persecution of the Uighurs for many years. This oppression is one of several reasons why China—an ostensibly progressive communist regime—has been designated a “Country of Particular Concern” by the Department of State since the inaugural International Religious Freedom Report in 1999.

Below is the exclusive video report documenting the persecution of Uighur Muslims in China.