Authoritarian regimes often persecute innocent people but cover their crime by denouncing their victims as “terrorists.” China is doing so on a massive scale as numerous reports indicate.
Gay McDougall, vice-president of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, told committee members in Geneva in August that more than one million Uighurs (Muslims) are estimated to be in detention in “counter-extremism centers” which are internment camps. Their crime is that they are Uighur and Muslim in a land of atheists and a Han ethnic majority. Another two million have been forced into “re-education” camps for indoctrination.
Uighurs, now numbering some 20 million, have lived in Xinjiang (Sinkiang, East Turkestan), for 4,000 years. They are a Turkic people steeped in Arabic, Iranian and European cultures. Now they are under pressure to denounce their religion and culture.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International agree that tens of thousands have been detained.
Reuters news agency reported that 15 Western diplomats sought answers from China on its human rights violations but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denounced the request as “interference.”
Ethnic Uighurs have lived in Sinkiang – as the province was called – for centuries. Defeating the Kuomintang regime of Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong’s troops seized Xinjiang in 1949 and started forcing its mostly Muslim population to adopt Communist dogma.
Chinese officials have been stationed in Muslims’ homes to change their way of life. Children have been snatched and put in orphanages. Innocent people have been arrested and thrown into concentration camps.
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