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The Uighurs

Confessions of a Chinese torturer

Chinese police put down a riot in Xinjiang province in 2009. Guang Niu/Getty Images

A former Chinese detective identified only as Jiang can’t sleep at night, says CNN. Jiang (not his real name) was one of 150,000 police officers paid double to work on an operation called Aid Xinjiang, beating Uighur Muslims and forcing them into the “re-education” camp system. In a three-hour interview, the whistleblower says he joined President Xi Jinping’s Strike Hard campaign to root out “terrorists” in 2014.

Jiang and his colleagues were told to treat Xinjiang “like a war zone”, and were given quotas. “If you want people to confess, you use the electric baton with two sharp tips on top,” he says. “We would tie two electrical wires on the tips and set the wires on their genitals while the person is tied up.” If anyone resisted arrest, officers would “hold the gun against his head and say, ‘If you move, you will be killed’”. Many new male prisoners were raped.

Other interrogation methods included shackling people to a “tiger chair” (designed to immobilise suspects), hanging them from the ceiling and waterboarding. Everyone was beaten: men, women and children as young as 14. Inmates were incarcerated for simply “wearing a veil”, growing “a long beard” or having too many children.

Jiang claims that if he had resisted, he would have been arrested too. Some people saw it as a job; others “are just psychopaths”. Now in exile in Europe, he is close to a breakdown. “I just feel numb.”

Read the full article here.