A Uighur woman living in the Netherlands claimed that she was one of the sources of the leaked secret Chinese government documents that exposed China’s crackdown on the minority ethnic community living in Xinjiang province. Asiye Abdulaheb, speaking to a Dutch newspaper, said that she was worried about the safety of her family and thought publicity gives protection to whistleblowers. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which published the leaked internal documents, denied Abdulaheb’s claims saying it does not comment on its sources.
Abdulaheb, who moved to the Netherlands in 2009, said she earlier worked for Chinese state institutions. Though the 46-year-old could not provide any explanation about how she managed to get the documents, she confirmed her involvement in the leak of 24 pages. According to the Dutch daily, Abdulaheb had reached out to a German researcher on Xinjiang to establish authenticity of the documents. The researcher clarified that she did not give the documents to ICIJ.
According to the classified documents, China has deployed Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) to collect personal information on citizens and created a lengthy list of “suspicious” people based on this data. The leaked classified documents, known as China Cables, described the detention camps holding over a million Uighur Muslims. The documents contained ‘telegram’, basically the operations manual with guidelines to manage to the camps. There were ‘Bulletins’ to provide guidance on how to use IJOP and distributed to police and local party officials in charge of security around the region.
Earlier, another leak of internal documents had revealed the directives of President Xi Jinping to “show absolutely no mercy” on Uighur Muslims, in the “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism”. The 403-page long documents, leaked to an American daily, include internal speeches by Jinping and other officials, directives and reports on the surveillance and control of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. After Uighur militants stabbed more than 150 people at a train station in 2014, Jinping, in a series of speeches delivered to officials, urged the party to follow America’s policy of “war on terror”.