tirsdag 9. oktober 2018

One belt, one road, one million prisoners: China’s secret war on Muslims along the ‘Silk Road’

In March last year, a local radio employee received a phone call from his district’s police station, asking him to report to a “re-education camp” in Xinjiang. “The reason why I was caught is because I went to Egypt to study Islam in 2007,” he tells gal-dem over a WhatsApp call. He is too afraid to use his real name or Facebook.

Fuelled by the belief that the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority in the area, may form a resistance and make attempts to create a separate state, the Communist Party of China is in the midst of a crackdown on the Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. Intimidation and forced assimilation have become every day, and the most recent concern is that large numbers of Uyghurs are disappearing for months at a time into secretive camps. During his one month stay in a facility which held thousands of people, he recalls sleeping next to elderly people and those in need of medical care. “There were pregnant girls in there, I found one who was 16 years old. I don’t know how she got pregnant in there but I think the soldiers had harassed her,” he adds.