'Evidence' seeks to smear Xinjiang, says official

A senior official of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Friday rebutted some so-called databases related to the region, saying that their "evidence" is trying to distort facts, smear Xinjiang and deceive the world with data that has proved to be false.

At a news conference on Xinjiang-related issues in Beijing, regional government spokesman Xu Guixiang said that the local authorities had fact-checked the 12,050 individuals named in the three databases and found out that 1,342 were simply made up.

"Among the 10,708 confirmed, 6,962 live normal lives, 3,244 were sentenced for endangering public security, violence, terrorism or other crimes, 238 died of illnesses or other causes, and 264 are abroad," Xu said.

The three databases are the "Xinjiang Data Project" launched by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the "Xinjiang Victims Database" and the "Uyghur Transitional Justice Database".

"All these databases were established by some anti-China organizations, individuals or 'East Turkestan' elements," Xu said, adding that the databases also have support from some anti-China forces in the United States and the West.

According to Xu, the "Xinjiang Data Project" produces and passes on fraudulent articles and videos trying to attack and smear Xinjiang under the cover of so-called academic research.

For example, its map section claims that it has identified geographical information about 380 so-called detention facilities in Xinjiang by using nighttime satellite imagery analysis.

"After careful verification, 343 of the 380 so-called detention facilities are schools, government buildings, hospitals, residential places or shops, which take up as much as 90 percent of the total," Xu said, adding that these databases are nothing but databases of falsehoods, rumors and false evidence.

However, politicians, organizations and media from some countries see them as treasure with no verification, no scrutiny and with no regard for fact and truth, and on that basis pin on Xinjiang labels such as so-called crimes against humanity and genocide, he said.

"This is absolutely absurd," Xu said.

Sayragul Sauytbay, one of the so-called witnesses listed in the databases, used to be the head of a kindergarten in Zhaosu county in Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture of Xinjiang.

She claimed that she had been forced to work in a so-called detention camp and had fled to the US.

However, in a video played at the news conference, a colleague of Sauytbay said that she had been working at the kindergarten all the time, and asked how could she work at a "detention camp".

In fact, Sauytbay escaped her hometown and home country to avoid legal punishment over charges of loan fraud and illegal border crossing.