Muslim ethnic group targeted by Chinese government under ruse of deradicalization

Audrey Otwell

Journalists at Agence France-Presse report the purchase of “2,768 police batons, 550 electric cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs, and 2,792 cans of pepper spray…”

The United Nations cites that hundreds of thousands of Uighur (We-ghur) Muslims are currently living in what the Chinese government has dubbed “reeducation centers.” Large nations concerned for the humanitarian and ethical consequences brutally criticized China during a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting on Dec. 5.


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The UNHRC cited the focus of these centers strongly resemble Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. Torture, including waterboarding and other forms of intense torture, have been reported. The Chinese government’s recent experiences with religious extremism and separatism is said to have sparked these deportations and institutionalizations.

Foreign minister Le Yucheng said, “It’s another important contribution of China’s to the global counterterror field.” The detainment of nearly one million Muslims was ordered by President Xi Jinping for reasons regarding “…protect[ing] the human rights of the vast majority, while also saving these people.”

Practices included in this protection include intense indoctrination of communist documents and light worship of President Xi Jinping himself. De-extremification policies have also been put into place. Chinese citizens are now banned from naming their children certain traditional Muslim names. Firsthand reports to Vox and the Washington Post depicted “conversion camp” like conditions as recently as November 2018. Those who defy communist document ideals would be placed into hand and ankle cuffs for up to 12 hours.

Identification cards and travel bans have been enacted against the Uighur Muslims. Many horrific reports of reeducation camp stories are circulating throughout China, including reports of punishment for not watching state television. Although the Chinese government first denied United Nation insinuations to the reeducation “training” camps, they have now compared the facilities to a boarding school. Looking into the future, political motives may inhibit other countries from taking action against the atrocities occurring in China according to the New York Times article published on Nov. 6.

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