"His story is so bogus!" Elijan Anayat, spokesperson of the Xinjiang regional government said during a press conference on Monday in response to allegations by a man who claimed to be a police officer in the Xinjiang region and told Western media that more than 900,000 Uygurs are being "detained" in Xinjiang and "tortured" by the police.
On Monday, Sky News released an interview with a man who identified himself by the name of Jiang and claimed to be a police officer in Xinjiang. The man told Sky News that Uygur "detainees are transported in their hundreds on packed prison trains" and revealed details of "torture and deaths" inside Xinjiang's training centers.
"After hearing the man's descriptions, I just want to say that his story is so bogus!" Elijan said during Monday's press conference in response to a request for comments from Sky News over Jiang's remarks.
Elijan said that the Xinjiang regional government is willing to help verify the man's identity if more information can be offered and in case some media is fooled by fake police officers.
The regional spokesperson noted that in 2019, a man named Baymurat Zumhai accepted interviews from overseas media claiming that he worked as an assistant police officer in Qitai county, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang. He fabricated stories about village officials and assistant police officers abusing power to sentence three men to death penalty.
After an investigation, the Xinjiang regional government found that Baymurat never worked as assistant police officer. He was a security guard working in a market in Qitai county and was laid off for lying and violating working regulations. After leaving China, he vented his resentment by spreading rumors on Xinjiang.
Elijan noted that China is a country ruled by law and the public security institutions are working on criminal cases. Illegal detention, using torture to get confessions or other coercive methods are banned in China. He added that torturing detainees, as stated in Jiang's fake stories, would never happen in China.
The vocational training and education centers in Xinjiang were set and managed by laws with trainees' human rights and dignity fully protected. Elijan noted that there were many trainees who appeared at press conferences to share their stories in the centers and refute lies of Western media.
Before Sky News' interview with the alleged police officer, CNN reported Jiang's story and said that the man had presented his uniforms, photos and documents to prove his identity. However, except for a blurry photograph, CNN did not show other evidence in order to "protect the man's identity."
One reason for Jiang to catch the attention of Western media was his participation as witness in the "Uyghur Tribunal", a pseudo-tribunal and political farce staged in London by a group of anti-China forces and terrorists and separatists from China's Xinjiang in June .
However, Jiang, under the name of Wang Leizhan, appeared via video link in the first "hearing" of the "tribunal" to testify. He told his story of being deployed to Xinjiang to "arrest" and "torture" Uygurs. Judging from the videos from Sky News and CNN and the videos shown by the "tribunal," Wang Leizhan looks like Jiang with the exact same sunglasses, facemask and wearing the same "uniform."
On September 3, a Twitter account under the name of "Nacar Hoshur" posted some documents and receipts which show the money given to "expert witnesses," "fact witnesses" and "Wang Leizhan." Among the total of 100,700 pounds of "witnesses costs," "expert witnesses" got 40,000 pounds, "fact witnesses" 17,700 pounds and Wang received 43,000 pounds.
Experts said that sometimes witnesses may get a little money to subsidize transportation costs or to cover their loss of working time but the amount would be small as making a profit from testimonies would severely damage the credibility of the witness.
As for the money given to "witnesses" for the "Uyghur Tribunal," it is paid to actors that perform as "witnesses" to stage a political performance. Judging from the current situation, some overseas separatists were not satisfied with Jiang's high earnings.