© 新疆司法行政 Internees in Lop County attend a “de-extremification” event
NO to racism part 4 of 12.
Concentration camps in China. Is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) using their communist propaganda to get rid of the Muslim minorities in the country?
Despite the fact that more than half a century has passed since Hitler's regime, concentration camps are still not a thing of the past. Many observations and leaked documents revealed that China's so-called “re-education centers” are in reality cruel facilities where the government forces their propaganda on Muslim Uyghurs.
China is a multiethnic state. Although 90% of the Chinese population are Han Chinese, who are also defined as the dominant ethical group in China, there are over fifty officially recognized minority groups in total. Uyghurs are one of the biggest minority groups, most of them living in Xinjiang. Over the last decade, their desire to be an independent state has risen. After 2012, China became the target of numerous terrorist attacks for which the Chinese government held the Uyghurs responsible. Despite the fact that some of the Uyghurs had joined islamic terrorist organizations and sent threats to the Chinese government, the majority of the Uyghur citizens were innocent. Instead of targeting those responsible for the terror, Chinese authorities went after all Uyghurs as if they were part of the terrorist groups. A zero tolerance policy was put in place by the government and people started to disappear en masse, such as the famous Uyghur singer Ablajan Awut Ayup.
In recent years, China has set up nearly four hundred detention centers, mainly in the Xinjiang region where China has arrested more than 1 million Muslim Uyghurs. It is the largest mass imprisonment of an ethno-religious minority since the Second World War. While at first, Chinese authorities were denying the existence of detention centers, China Cables, secret documents from the Chinese government documenting the systematic persecution and suppression of the Uyghurs in everyday life and in re-education camps in Xinjiang, were leaked and proved the existence of CCP’s propaganda. China later referred to them as re-education programs structured to combat the threat of terrorism. They justified their campaign with the unrest in recent years, in which hundreds of people have been killed, as well as individual terrorist attacks for which the authorities blame Uyghur perpetrators.
Human rights activists accuse the authorities of brainwashing interned Muslims of their religious and ethnic identity in order to assimilate them into the society of China's majority. Among other cruel things, Muslims inside the camps are forced to eat pork. Reports talk of overcrowding, harassment and psychological terror. According to reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, contact with friends and relatives abroad, owning a Quran or regular prayer are sufficient to be interned.
A repeatedly discussed topic is human rights in connection with the People's Republic of China. The People's Republic of China is a one-party state governed by the Communist Party of China* with more than 1.4 billion citizens (as of 2007) which makes it the highest populated country in the world. In appearance, the recognition of human rights is anchored in the constitution, as it states: “The state respects and guarantees human rights”. However, the Chinese government advocates human rights adapted to the country. In addition, the country is repeatedly accused by organizations such as Amnesty International or Humans Right Watch of only partially implementing human rights in areas of freedom of speech, freedom of establishment or freedom of religion. In addition, the independent judiciary and legal certainty are criticized.
Although the 1982 Constitution guarantees free speech, the Chinese government often convicts anyone who critics the regime as a threat to the state. The government also has a strong presence in the media, with the largest media organizations in the hands of the government. Chinese law forbids residents to campaign for the independence of certain territories under the Chinese government as well as to publicly question the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Google Maps bird's eye view: Camp in Xinjiang
Although the concentration camps are the most extreme example of China's inhumane politics, the entire population is exposed to repressive policies. By using mass surveillance, China has turned Xinjiang into a high-tech police state. No matter if inside or outside the camps, Uyghurs are exploited for cheap labor. The New York Times announced in July that some Chinese-made face masks that were sold in the US and other countries were made in factories that relied on Uyghur labor.
Eyewitnesses report women held in those camps were forced to stretch their arm through a small window in their cell door where invigilators gave them an injection in the arm daily. The effects of those injections were the loss of feelings like warmth and hunger as well as the loss of memories even of their families. After some months they stopped getting their periods. In- or outside the camps the government is forcing a mass sterilization campaign on Uyghur women to suppress birth rates of Muslim minorities. Many also report about torture, mistreatments and gang rapes by Han policemen.
Due to the leaked documents and the witness reports, this urgent topic is providentially discussed more and more often. Many organizations and news outlets are determined to pass on their insights on this situation.
You can help by signing petitions, donating, or simply by spreading the knowledge about this happening. Depending on what country you are in you can also help by calling the authorities to pass a prevention act.