The Uyghur problem

The Uyghur problem

Police car in Xinjiang. The police is everywhere in this Orwellian police state. Every 120 meters you'll find a swat team with 3-5 heavily armed police and a police bus. Facial tracking is everywhere, and phone searches are done daily. If you don't give them your password you have a gigantic problem.

Xinjiang has recently gotten more media attention, after many report showed the Chinese government managing 'The Uyghur problem' in a similar way as the Nazi's did with their 'Jewish problem'. Locking up > 1 million of the Muslim minority, 're-educating them' while simultaneously solving the organ donation problem by getting mandatory volunteers. Although it was forbidden to take photos [of police], and I was very close to having my camera confiscated 3 times, it was my task as a photographer of German heritage to sneak in with a camera and show you my view on 'The Uyghur problem'.

I was followed for days by police and I don't know if some of the people I've met on the road are still alive (they started disappearing). Only because I was trained in negotiation, participated in The Negotiation Challenge and knew where to hide my SD-cards, I managed to get out alive, with all the photo's.

Exchange 治安 [Public security] on his red armband to a Swastika, and exchange the Muslim on the background to a Jew, and you get a very similar situation as 80 years ago
Uyghurs are the majority in Xinjiang
[Shield, helmet, body armour and baseball Bat] Every public building, gas station and most shops have riot gear laying around, to control any potential uprising
Almost all security forces wear a red armband, resembling the military fashion choices of the late 1930's in Germany
With family members randomly 'dissapearing', many live in fear
Contact with foreigners is forbidden. I hereby state that non of the people photographed knew I was photographing them
Chinese flags are everywhere
Everywhere
Every street in every village is covered in flag after flag
The headbands worn show their Turkish roots
Head-scarfs in China, some villages started banning those
A lot of the police and soldiers were recruited from the local Uyghur population. Here is a soldier and a police officer giving a local man a kiss as a greeting
There is so much security, that there is barbed wire and metal detectors on every gas station. This is a gas station somewhere in the desert, with more barbed wire than bricks