Congressional-Executive Commission on China 2018 Annual Report – East Turkestan (Xinjiang)

Link to full Annual Report here.

East Turkestan (Xinjiang)

Mass Internment in ‘‘Political Reeducation’’ Centers
During the Commission’s 2018 reporting year, authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) intensified an integrated state surveillance and security apparatus that reportedly targeted members of the region’s predominantly Muslim ethnic minority populations, resulting in detention and severe limits on their freedom of movement,1 expression,2 and religion.3
XUAR officials reportedly arbitrarily detained Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Hui, and others in extrajudicial facilities known as ‘‘political reeducation’’ centers or camps.4 Reports from international rights groups, scholars, and media organizations indicated that as many as
800,000 to 1.1 million individuals had been or remained detained at such facilities since around April 2017, 5 after the XUAR People’s Congress adopted the region’s first anti-extremism regulations.6
U.S.-based scholar Rian Thum noted in August 2018 that initial estimates of over 1 million detainees were based on information observers obtained in early 2018, but that Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and others ‘‘have continued to disappear,’’ and officials have continued to plan the construction of additional ‘‘political reeducation’’ facilities, making current figures potentially higher.7
Security personnel reportedly detained people in ‘‘reeducation’’ facilities based on factors such as praying in a certain way or engaging in ‘‘religious extremism’’;8 having ‘‘politically incorrect’’ views; 9 wanting to travel abroad;10
or having foreign connections, such as previous travel abroad or relatives living in another country. 11
Security personnel at these facilities reportedly subjected detainees to political indoctrination and forced marching;12 overcrowding; 13 poor quality food; 14 and torture, 15 including in the forms of medical neglect and maltreatment, 16 waterboarding, 17 sleep deprivation, 18 lack of adequate clothing in cold temperatures, 19 and other forms of abuse. 20
Extralegal and extrajudicial forms of detention violate Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 21 and Article 9(1) of
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 22

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