In a video clip released last week on YouTube purportedly showed drone-captured footage of a Chinese concentration camp for its Uighur Muslim minority.
The video footage showed hundreds of blindfolded and shackled Uighur Muslim men in rows on a train station seemingly being transferred to a detention camp by the Chinese police force.
“These videos were taken in China. This is the long-term suppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,” the description of the video read.
Reportedly, while the footage could not be independently verified, a European security source told Sky News they believe the footage is real and may have been taken earlier this year. “We’ve examined the footage and believe it to be genuine,” they said.
“It shows up to 600 prisoners being moved — they’re shackled together, have shaved heads, are blindfolded and have their hands locked behind their backs. This is typical of the way the Chinese move this type of prisoner.”
A researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre Nathan Ruser identified the location of the video as Bayingol, Xinjiang, but said that it was actually filmed around 20 August last year.
While reports of torture including forced sterilisation have emerged from the Chinese detention camps for Uighur Muslims, the communist state has denied any atrocities, calling the camps as simple education and training camps.
In July, China had said that the issue is about fighting terrorism and extremism, not about religion and human rights.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that the past three years have not seen any terrorist attack in Xinjiang, adding that the measures taken by the Chinese government have been very effective. She also stated that China would welcome "relevant personnel" from the countries criticising China to learn from Xinjiang's experience on fighting terrorism.