Muslim Detainment Camps in China

People+demonstrate+against+China+during+its+Universal+Periodic+Review+by+the+Human+Rights+Council+in+front+of+the+United+Nations+Office+in+Geneva%2C+Switzerland%2C+November+6%2C+2018.+REUTERS%2FDenis+Balibouse%0A

People demonstrate against China during its Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

China is under a lot of controversy lately because of the issues involving the Uighurs. The Uighurs are an ethnic minority group of Turkish Muslims residing in the Xinjiang region of China. The Chinese government starting in 2014, established these re-education camps in Xinjiang with the original purpose of interning and teaching the Uyghur about Chinese politics and government. Around 2016, these camps have expanded and recruited over 90,000 police officers to monitor and moderate these camps. These camps however, have been reportedly described as “detainment camps” internationally. Instead of fulfilling its original purpose, the camps have been a site of racial discrimination and torture. A majority of the people in the camps practice Islam and include other ethnic minorities like the Hui and Kyrgyz. The other portion of the people in the camps include Christians and even foreign citizens. Later on, there was a claim made by China, stating that the camps became what it is to ensure national security and promote its anti-terrorist actions. Despite that the camps, are seen as an abuse of human rights by many and there has been call to remove these camps.

There have been multiple reports about the cruelty suffered by the people in these detainment camps. The treatment camps are parallel to the concentration camps created in World War II. The people in these camps have no free will and are mistreated severely. A common issue in the camps is the use of physical punishment to maintain order. People who attempted escape and failed received brutal beatings. There have also been reports about brainwashing and how people are forced to study communist propaganda. There has not been an official death count of how many victims died but the number ranges from somewhere in thousands at least. People have argued and protested that this genocide of minorities in the camps needs to end. Activist groups have formed the most notable one being the “Campaign for Uyghurs.” Overall, the treatment and conditions in the camps are horrible which is why many are stating it is one of the worst modern human rights violations in the world.

Recently, there has been a leak involving information regarding these camps. A woman living in the Netherlands who were in Xinjiang was involving in a leak of documents that describe the issues in the camps and what is really going on there. After going public about the camps, people have called for action and over 20 nations worldwide condemned China and their decision to have these camps. After this leak China claimed the news involving the camps are false and that they were really implemented to fight back terrorism within the country. China also disregarded the documents and attempted to maintain the situation from getting out of hand. One example is how they gathered some support for these camps from countries in the Middle East and Asia as some of them approve of this idea to maintain national security. In addition, some countries are hesitant to start issues with China for fear of breaking the economic ties they have to China. Other countries like the United States and the European Union disapprove of China’s actions and is making effort to condemn and abolish these camps.