Exclusive: Xinjiang spokesperson dismisses Western reports

2019-12-03 Global Times Editor:Jing Yuxin

Editor's Note: Correspondents of Global Times recently interviewed the spokesperson of the People's Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, speaking about the ICIJ's organization of multiple foreign media outlets to fabricate and distort reports about Xinjiang. The spokesperson stated that the reports published by the ICIJ and other foreign media are nothing but distortions and concoctions to smear Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers, and its counter-terrorism and de-radicalization work, and that we are resolutely opposed to such reports.  

Question: Recently, the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) published an article about Xinjiang, illustrating the "personal experiences" of multiple victims including Mirigul Tursun and Shaylagul Sawutbay. They said that they were harshly mistreated in the "concentration camp," some "detainees" were hung on a wall and they were allowed no more than two minutes to use the bathroom, and at least nine female detainees died due to the terrible environment and medical conditions. Is what they said true? 

Answer: In August 2019, the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China issued a white paper, "Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang." It gave a thorough introduction to the education and training centers in Xinjiang. I'd like to stress again that the education and training centers in Xinjiang are school in nature, set up according to law. They were never the so-called "concentration camps" at all. Clinics are available in all the centers and professional doctors are there to provide 24-hour free medical service to trainees. Minor ailments are treated at the clinic. In the case of major and acute illnesses, trainees will be sent to hospital. The alleged nine female deaths are pure fabrications.  

The spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of China has clarified Mirigul Tursun's lies many times. And I'd like to tell you the truth once again. Mirigul Tursun, a Uyghur, was a resident of Qiemo county, Xinjiang. She was arrested by the police of Qiemo county on April 21, 2017, on the charges of instigating ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination. During that time, as she had contracted syphilis and other infectious diseases, the Public Security Bureau of Qiemo county revoked the compulsory measures on her on May 10, 2017, due to humanitarian considerations. Mirigul was totally free in China apart from those 20 days of criminal detention. According to relevant records, from 2010-17, she travelled 11 times between China and countries including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Turkey. Mirigul has never been locked up by the police of Urumqi, nor has she been put into prison or studied in any vocational education and training center. Mirigul Tursun lied that her younger brother was abused, resulting in his death, in the training center. After hearing her lies, her younger brother Akber Tursun said, "My sister always tells lies. She also said she had seen other people dead, besides me." 

Shaylagul Sawutbay, a female, Chinese citizen and ethnic Kazak, became the head of the central kindergarten in Chahanwusong Town, Zhaosu county, Yili Prefecture, Xinjiang, in April 2016. In March 2018, she was dismissed by the local educational authority and relocated as a teacher to a primary school in Chahanwusong Town, Zhaosu county, Yili Prefecture, because of her incompetency for her previous post and infringing on other teachers' interests by seeking performance bonuses through cheating. She is a suspect of fraud, and 249,000 yuan is still unrecovered from her. She has never worked in any vocational education and training center, and had never been imprisoned before she illegally went abroad. Where on earth did she see "trainees being hung on walls" or "restricted to use the toilet within two minutes"? To avoid legal punishment, she travelled to Kazakhstan and acquired refugee status by cheating, making up many lies about Xinjiang, which is despicable. 

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