KORLA, China (AP) - Possibly tens of thousands of people have been spirited without trial into China's secretive detention camps for alleged crimes that range from having extremist thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad.
The disappearances are part of an effort by authorities to use detentions and data-driven surveillance to impose a digital police state in the region of Xinjiang (SHIN'-jiang), home to 10 million Turkic-speaking Muslim minorities known as Uighurs (WEE'-goors).
Cutting-edge surveillance tracks where people go, what they read, who they talk to and what they say. And under an opaque system that treats practically all Uighurs as potential suspects, those who contact family abroad risk questioning or detention.
The government says its "strike hard" campaign is necessary following a series of attacks, including a train station knifing that killed 33.