Leaked documents reveal how China uses AI and algorithm to run Uighur detention camps

Policing techniques adopted by the Chinese forces include artificial intelligence and deep data.

Highly classified documents on the detention of the minority groups from the Xinjiang province were leaked on Sunday. It details the operations manual on the running of the mass detention camps in the province.

The release of leaked documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), details how the Chinese government has been holding a tight watch over the Uighur community and other minorities locked in the detention camp.

Million detainees from Uighur community

5 dead, another 5 injured by knife-wielding attackers in China's Xinjiang
Representational Image Reuters

The documents obtained by the ICIJ was published in various media outlets worldwide and highlighted the strict protocols that the far western region camps follow. Many right groups and other experts say that this region has more than one million detainees who are from the Uighur community and other minority groups that are mostly Muslims.

This is followed by the New York Times report based on a 400-page internal report on President Xi Jinping's order to the officials to work with 'no mercy' against separatism and extremism in 2014 after a Uighur militant attack took place in a train station.

The latest leaks follow the China Cables obtained by ICIJ which follows the strict guidelines by the top security staff on how to run these detention camps with the help of the algorithm. It also has details on the policing techniques adopted by the Chinese forces for detecting the minority communities through artificial intelligence and data collection for these detention camps.

Behavior-modification points system

Indonesia tightens vigil over rising Uighur militant infiltration
Muslim students stand during a rally outside China's embassy in Jakarta July 15, 2009, to protest against the deaths of Uighurs in riots in China's Xinjiang province. Rioting left at least 184 dead in Xinjiang's worst ethnic violence in decades Reuters

The detainees are referred to as 'students' who must graduate from these camps. The guidelines for the officials' details on how to manage the detainees by following strict policies in the centers. The manual is called a telegram and is detailed in instructions from the prevention of escapes to managing their day to day lives. The document points out a behavior-modification points system, which dictates the punishment and rewards to the inmates.

The telegram "ji mi" labeled on top, this means top-secret in Chinese. These files present the master plan for the internment camps in China that can take in more than a million detainees. It is titled as a training procedure for the detainees and was released by the Xinjiang Autonomous Region's Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the Communist Party committee responsible for the region's security measures.

Hi-tech mass detention center

File photo of an ethnic Uighur woman on a drip at a hospital in Shaya county of Aksu
File photo of an ethnic Uighur woman on a drip at a hospital in Shaya county of Aksu Reuters

The documents provide a clear description of the high-tech mass detention center. The system is said to be targeting the minority group especially the Uighur community, who is mostly Mulsim Turkic and has their own language and culture.

Adrian Zenz said to Associated Press that this can be seen as a form of mass cultural genocide. He says that the documents eco the main aim of the camp which is to "wash brains, cleanse hearts, support the right and remove the wrong".