Rare footage and text messages secretly sent by a detained Uighur man show chilling evidence of human rights violations by China, as global scrutiny of the situation in Xinjiang grows.
According to reports by the BBC and the Globe and Mail, Merdan Ghappar, a successful model on the e-commerce platform Taobao, was detained after having spent over a year in prison on a drugs charge his supporters said was trumped up.
In January, the 31-year-old Uighur was taken back to Xinjiang by police where he was hooded, shackled and held in a crowded police cell with 50-60 prisoners.
Videos and text messages reportedly sent by Ghappar provide a detailed account of his detention and the shocking conditions he says he witnessed, including teenage boys being hooded and beaten, and of the widespread use of “four-piece suits” – combined restraints that are criticised by human rights groups.
Ghappar has not been heard from since March.