Human rights organizations along with the U.S. government have strongly condemned reports that the Chinese government have been targeting and detaining the Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority in China’s western Xinjiang region.
It is said that as many as 1 million Uighurs are in internment camps and “reeducation” programs — 10% of the population of Xinjiang. Many Uyghurs state that the camps are part of a cultural genocide by Beijing, with the goal to eliminate the Uyghurs’ Islamic faith and culture, and bring them closer to China’s majority Han population. The Chinese Communist Party maintains these centers are a crucial part of its effort to counter terror, extremism and separatism.
NBC News recently was given rare access to three of what the Chinese government calls “vocational education and training centers” where they claim Uighurs “receive lessons in law and culture, Mandarin, and skills like shop-keeping, hospitality, animal husbandry and e-commerce.”
More on NBC findings: At the camps, dormitories were sparsely furnished with few personal possessions. Some classrooms were equipped with computers and others with musical instruments. It is impossible to know whether conditions in the camps were changed or improved for the purpose of NBC’s visit, or whether conditions in other camps are similar. Abulizi, the camp director, said that when people arrive, they are first given lessons in Chinese law and Mandarin, China’s national language. Then they are taught vocational skills, he said.
To leave the centers, detainees must pass exams which includes “de-radicalization” and “vocational skills.”
For the NBC report, please CLICK.
For CNN drone footage of the camps, please CLICK.