Xinjiang Political ‘Re-Education Camps’ Treat Uyghurs ‘Infected by Religious Extremism’: CCP Youth League

An official Chinese Communist Party recording recently obtained by RFA’s Uyghur Service characterizes Uyghurs who have been sent for political “re-education” as “infected by an ideological illness”—not unlike a disease that must be treated at a hospital. The 12-minute Uyghur language audio recording issued in October 2017 offers a rare glimpse into Beijing’s justification for its network of political “re-education camps” used since April 2017 to jail or detain Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The XUAR’s Party Youth League recording, entitled ‘What Kind of Place is the Educational Transformation Center,’ was published Oct. 11, 2017 on the WeChat social media network by Talap/Tagdim [Request/Offer] Salon and addressed to Uyghur youth as part of a bid to assuage concerns over the camps, which credible reports suggest have held upwards of 1.1 million people, or 10-11 percent of the adult Muslim population of the XUAR. Aside from a brief mention in a recent article carried by state media, China’s central government authorities have not publicly acknowledged the existence of the camps, and the number of inmates kept in each facility remains a closely guarded secret. The following are excerpts from the recording:

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