China: Xinjiang official figures reveal higher prisoner count

Half-Million prosecuted, imprisoned during crackdown

The Chinese government has used its justice system to sentence and imprison an estimated half-million people during the brutal crackdown in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said today.While not all convicted prisoners faced political charges, the available figures indicate that the total number of people wrongfully imprisoned in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is much higher than generally reported based on earlier official figures. These formal prosecutions, in which many people received punishments without being tried, are distinct from the arbitrary detentions in the extralegal “political education” facilities. Concerned countries should press the Chinese government to release all Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities who are wrongfully detained in Xinjiang and elsewhere.