Chinese re-education camps continue to mistreat Uighur Muslims
Since 2017, more than 1 million Uighur Muslims have been detained in what the Chinese government is calling “re-education centers” in Xinjiang, China.
According to PBS NewsHour, Uighur Muslims who have been detained in these centers say they were interrogated, mistreated and beaten once detained.
The Chinese government has claimed that the Uighurs’ “extremist” views threaten the country’s security. In the past few years, they have demolished numerous mosques and banned Uighur men from growing beards and Uighur women from wearing veils.
The mistreatment and detainment of the Uighurs has caught international attention.
According to PBS NewsHour, in July 2020, 22 countries drafted a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council, expressing their concern and disdain for China’s actions.
Almost immediately after the letter was released, 37 countries defended the Chinese government for protecting their country.
The United States was quiet about the subject until it publicly criticized China for their treatment of the Uighurs at a U.N. General Assembly in September 2020.
An unknown number of Uighur Muslims are currently situated in any of the hundreds of “re-education centers” spread over Xinjiang, China.
On January 19, 2020, departing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the repression of Uighur Muslims a genocide.
“I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state.”
The Chinese government responded to this statement, calling it a lie.
Both imprisoned and free Uighurs have spoken out, expressing their gratitude for Pompeo’s statement.
This statement may inspire other international influences to denounce the government’s crimes and potentially result in a demand to ban the camps.