fredag 11. september 2020

Three Camps in Xinjiang’s Uchturpan Believed to Hold Ten Percent of County’s Uyghur Population

Three internment camps in one county in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s (XUAR) Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) prefecture may be holding nearly 10 percent of the county’s Uyghur residents, according to local authorities, despite recent claims by Chinese officials that such facilities have all been shuttered. Authorities in the XUAR are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of camps since April 2017.

Beginning in October 2018, Beijing acknowledged the existence of the camps, but described them as voluntary “vocational centers,” despite reporting by RFA’s Uyghur Service which has found that detainees are mostly held against their will in poor conditions, where they are forced to endure inhumane treatment and political indoctrination. In a July 2019 press conference, XUAR Chairman Shohret Zakir told reporters that more than 90 percent of internees from so-called “vocational training centers” had graduated from their “studies” and been placed into jobs. In later statements, the Chinese authorities claimed that all “centers” had been closed.

Last week in Paris, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated the claim that all those sent to the camps have been released and placed in employment.