More than three million Uighur Muslims are held in concentration camps in Xinjiang province in China. The camps are allegedly torturing and targeting the Muslims and brainwashing them to disown their religion and become common citizens.
The Chinese government has been denying the existence of the camps and publicly defending the allegations. They have been describing the camps as “re-education camps” focused on the job training or deviating potential terrorists, although the ones held in concentration camps have no connection to terrorism.
This tension between Han Chinese (natives of China) and Uighur Muslims dates back to 1931 to claim Xinjiang province. The Chinese government has taken advantage of the 9/11 attacks in the United States and began to justify harsh security measures and religious restrictions.
Allegedly, men are forcefully held in the concentration camps, and children are sent to orphanages. Women are mercilessly harassed, raped and forcefully married to other Chinese men. They are forced to eat pork, consume alcohol and denounce themselves as Muslims.
The detainees have become prey for organ harvesting, subjects for medical experiments and sterilisation procedures.
The former detainees have described being tortured during interrogation at the camps, living in crowded cells and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of party indoctrination that drove some people to suicide, Reuters reported.
After acknowledging the existence of camps, China started letting out some of the detainees. But the former detainees barely have any freedom and are held to become their network in containing other people in Xinjiang.
Outside the concentration camps, Uighur Muslims are forced to install the spyware app, which can let the government monitor their activities. Chinese forces are deployed as guests under “pair up and become family” programme, in more than one million Uighur Muslim homes to observe them.
They are not allowed to speak any other foreign language other than Chinese, and Halal food has been banned in the country. Women under 45 years of age are not allowed to wear hijab and facial recognition systems installed near the mosques are being used to register and punish whoever enters the mosques.
Chinese journalist Simina Mistreanu said, “In the past few years, more and more Uighurs, a minority who speak a Turkic language and call Xinjiang home, have moved to Turkey as they flee an assimilation campaign led by Beijing. But the threat of spies reporting their activity back to China still looms large in the minds of many immigrants,” to FP Guide.
The campaigns against the torture of Uighur Muslims have picked up potential after Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economist and human rights activist was honoured with Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament. The European parliament has also strongly urged the Chinese Government to free Ilham Tohti from the prison.
The Uighur Muslims are also resisting the harsh treatment by China with the help of social media and are trying to create awareness about the menace. The silent videos made by the youth using Douyin App are going viral and being very impactful.
Also Read: Show No Mercy To Uighur, Chinese leader Xi Jinping Told Officials: Report