Chinese spies force US-based Uighurs into "voluntary" surveillance by threatening their families in China

The Chinese state crackdown on the predominantly Muslim Uighur minority — involving the imprisonment and torture of upwards of a million people in brainwashing camps — isn't limited to China itself.

US-based Uighur immigrants report that they have been contacted by their family-members in China, who ask them to submit scans of their ID, their car license plate numbers, bank card numbers, and phone number, with the implied threat that the family members will face reprisals in China if they don't cooperate.

The messages say that the data is needed to issue the Uighur expats with Chinese national ID cards.

In recent months, many other Uighurs living in the United States have received similar demands from Chinese authorities, relayed by family members back in China who were paid official visits from local public security bureau officials. One Uighur living on the east coast told The Daily Beast that Chinese police had demanded a copy of the individual's employment contract with their university; another was told they had to provide a letter from their academic supervisor. If they don't comply, these Uighurs know that their relatives may be detained.

"I've heard about many of these cases of influence and intimidation from Chinese authorities being extended to Uighurs abroad, whether they are students or journalists or everyday people," said James Millward, a professor of Chinese and Central Asian history at Georgetown University. "In many cases they are permanent residents, green card holders, or even citizens in the United States, Australia, or elsewhere."

Chinese Cops Now Spying on American Soil [Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian/The Daily Beast]