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China’s Re-education Camps


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For all of Beijing’s indignation, evidence that the camps hold hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims is overwhelming. Whole neighborhoods in the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar are deserted, with homes sealed by police. Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the European School of Culture and Theology in Berlin, analyzed public construction contracts that show the government has spent more than $100 million to build 78 re-education camps of up to 82,000 square meters. Mr. Zenz estimates there are as many as 1,300 camps.


The reason China’s Muslims are speaking to foreign journalists now is telling. They typically stay silent for fear that relatives might be imprisoned. As whole families disappear behind detention-center walls, there is nobody left to protect. Relatives report that some prisoners have died in the camps. [...]


Former inmates say camp guards pressure prisoners to renounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party. One young Uighur told the Journal, “They would also tell us about religion, saying there is no such thing as religion, why do you believe in religion, there is no God.” Another said, “They said we should give thanks not to Allah, but to Xi Jinping, ” China’s supreme leader.

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