On October 13, Darren Byler joined ChinaFile’s Susan Jakes and Jessica Batke to discuss his new book, In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony. Video and a transcript available on ChinaFile.
“A little more than four years ago, reports from China first began to emerge of a large-scale program of involuntary “reeducation” for Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in the western region of Xinjiang. As testimony from detainees trickled out, and research on government procurement and satellite images began to be published, evidence mounted to show that despite denials from Beijing, China’s government was incarcerating some one million people in a network of detention facilities across Xinjiang, while subjecting millions of others in the region to severe religious and cultural repression and an unprecedented level of technologically enhanced surveillance.
In the Camps draws on a decade of research on the region, examining thousands of government documents and many hours of interviews with both detainees and camp workers. Their stories describe a surveillance that overwhelms the lives of Xinjiang’s residents, and push Byler to examine how technological tools are being adapted to create forms of intrusive and often oppressive control of vulnerable people around the world.”