'If you enter a camp, you never come out': inside China's war on Islam. More than a million have been detained with the official aim of eradicating ‘the virus in their thinking’
'If you enter a camp, you never come out': inside China's war on Islam - theguardian.com
More than a million have been detained with the official aim of eradicating ‘the virus in their thinking’ - spectator.co.uk
Muslim women reportedly ‘sterilized’ in Chinese ‘re-education’ camps - nypost.com
China is killing religious and ethnic minorities and harvesting their organs, UN Human Rights Council told - independent.co.uk
China is harvesting thousands of human organs from its Uighur Muslim minority, UN human-rights body hears - businessinsider.com
China Must Answer for Cultural Genocide in Court - foreignpolicy.com
'If you enter a camp, you never come out': inside China's war on Islam
Half a dozen people stand on the roadside, staring at the buildings. No one is willing to say exactly what this prison-like facility is or why they are waiting on its perimeter.
They are reluctant to talk because the building is not a formal prison or university, but an internment camp where Muslim minorities, mainly Uighurs, are sent against their will and without trial for months or even years.
Researchers and residents say southern Xinjiang, where the Luopu County No 1 Vocational Skills Training Centre is located, has borne the brunt of the government’s crackdown on Muslims because of its density of Uighurs and distance from major cities.
“We have a saying in Hotan: If you go into a concentration camp in Luopu, you never come out,” said Adil Awut*, from Hotan City, who is now living overseas.
In December, the United Nations asked for direct access to the camps after a panel said it had received “credible reports” that 1.1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Hui and other ethnic minorities had been detained.
More than a million have been detained with the official aim of eradicating ‘the virus in their thinking’
For the Uyghur and Kazakh people, daily life has become a routine of police controls and security checks. Along the highways, at the entrances of cities and everywhere in the streets are checkpoints. Only the Muslims are checked. Many have to install a surveillance app called ‘Jingwang’ (‘clean web’) on their phones, which monitors all communication. To fill up at a petrol station people have to register with their ID card and facial recognition. When they do, this data, along with information from surveillance cameras, shopping behaviour and health documents, is collected and processed and any suspicious activity is flagged. Let’s say the algorithm found that one family uses more water than their neighbours: this could indicate having unregistered guests at home, so an automatic message is sent to the police. The suspects are often simply sent to a camp.
A million Muslims have been held in 1,000 camps with the official aim of eradicating 'the virus in their thinking'
The clothing merchant Erbolat Savut spent half a year in a camp accused of ‘buying too much petrol’. Even after their release most inmates are kept under a kind of confinement in their home with strict controls, and during our last correspondence a relative said Savut was still under house arrest.
Several people I talked to had been detained after it was found they’d been talking to relatives abroad. One elderly man, a retired imam called Bolat Razdykham, was taken away to a camp directly from hospital, where he was recovering from a cancer operation. When relatives abroad made his case public, authorities in Xinjiang intimidated the local family. They warned them to be silent, said the daughter, Liza Bolat.
Anyone with a relative or friend interned is right to be afraid of what the authorities will do. Kairat Samarkhan said that even the slightest sign of disobedience, or just a sloppily made bed, would lead to punishment.
Some inmates had their hands and feet in shackles for many days. Others were forced to stay for hours in painful positions.
‘Once, I threw my blanket in anger,’ said Samarkhan. Two guards took him away. ‘They brought me to a room with iron hinges attached to one wall. After three hours I was in so much pain that I just screamed.’ He never dared to disobey again.
Muslim women reportedly ‘sterilized’ in Chinese ‘re-education’ camps
China is forcibly sterilizing women held in its vast network of “re-education” camps that house political and religious prisoners, survivors have claimed.
One woman, who was held for more than a year, has told French television she was repeatedly injected with a substance by doctors in a prison in the far-west region of Xinjiang.
“We had to stick our arms out through a small opening in the door,” Gulbahar Jalilova, a 54-year-old former detainee, told France 24.
“We soon realized that after our injections that we didn’t get our periods anymore.”
She and up to 50 other women were crammed into a tiny cell “like we were just (a) piece of meat,” she said.
Speaking to an Amnesty International conference recently, another woman, Mehrigul Tursun, 30, told a similar story of being unknowingly sterilized.
She felt “tired for about a week, lost my memories and felt depressed” after being administered a cocktail of drugs while imprisoned in 2017, she said.
After several months, she was released, having been diagnosed as mentally ill, and now lives in the United States. Doctors there later told her she had been sterilized.
China is killing religious and ethnic minorities and harvesting their organs, UN Human Rights Council told
The Chinese government is harvesting and selling organs from persecuted religious and ethnic minorities on an industrial scale, the UN Human Rights Council has been told.
Speaking at the council’s headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday, lawyer Hamid Sabi presented the findings of the China Tribunal, an independent tribunal on allegations of forced organ harvesting.
Mr Sabi told the council that UN member states have a “legal obligation” to act after the tribunal’s final report in June found that “the commission of crimes against humanity against the Falun Gong and Uighur [minorities] had been proved beyond reasonable doubt”.
The China Tribunal was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia who led the case against Slobodan Milošević, and heard evidence from human rights investigators, medical experts and witnesses.
China Must Answer for Cultural Genocide in Court
Various sources place the number of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities held in detention camps in Xinjiang this year between 1 million and 1.5 million, with some estimates going as high as 3 million. This is out of a total Uighur population of 10 million in Xinjiang, which increases to 12 million if non-Uighur Turkic Muslim groups that have also been targeted are included—such as Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and others.
Officially, the individuals detained are there for retraining: According even to the official narrative, they are there to be inoculated against the virus of religious extremism and are given lessons in Mandarin, Communist Party ideology, and job skills training.
That already sounds very much like the language used under Stalinism to justify the gulag. But details of the kinds of things that actually go on underneath the polished narrative of the Chinese government have emerged. Sources citing former detainees allege torture, sexual abuse, forced abortions, and, perhaps most common and shocking, the forced sterilization of detained Uighur women.
At this point, thanks in part to international attention, the camps themselves may be being wound down—but not to good ends. Instead, around half a million people are being transferred to the prison system directly, with the authorities sometimes making use of the same detention centers but simply changing the names. Hundreds of thousands more are being sent into forced labor facilities. Outside of the detention camps themselves, the society in Xinjiang has begun to increasingly resemble an apartheid regime, where Han settlers from eastern China assumed to be loyal to Beijing are given plum jobs and mostly Muslim locals are surveilled 24/7 by the most pervasive technological police state in the world.