Mass internment camps for Uighur Muslim minority legalized in China

Xinjiang: Providing a legal basis for massive internment camps run in China’s western Xinjiang region, China has added new clauses to Xinjiang’s anti-extremism laws. This has made “vocational training centres” legal, where Minority Uighur Muslims are sent for ‘reeducation’.

According to a UN human rights committee, more than 1 million Uighurs are believed to be detained in secret camps by China. However, China has repeatedly denied the claim.

The new clauses added to Xinjiang’s anti-extremism laws state “Governments above the county level can set up … vocational training centres, to educate and transform people who have been influenced by extremism.” The clause added that the training centres were intended to “educate and transform” detainees.

The anti-extremism laws of Xinjiang have been in force since April last year. The law bans Muslim men and women from growing “abnormal” beards or wearing veils in public.

Former detainees have described the facilities as political indoctrination camps, saying that they were forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist Party.