Advocates for human rights for China’s Uighur Muslims said they have documented over 500 camps and prisons in China run by Beijing that unlawfully detain people of the minority ethnic group.
The human rights group have accused China of imprisoning more than a million Uighur Muslims in “concentration camps”.
A Washington-based group, The East Turkistan National Awakening Movement(ETNAM) that works for the independence for the Muslims in China’s Xinjiang, provided the world with the approximate coordinates of around 182 suspected concentration camps.
According to the reports, Uighur Muslims are being forced to relinquish their religion. The ETNAM claims to have spotted 209 suspected prisons and 74 suspected labour camps.
According to Kyle Olbert, the director of operations for the movement, “In large part, these have not been previously identified, so we could be talking about far greater numbers of people detained.” “If anything, we are concerned that there may be more facilities that we have not been able to identify,” he stated in a news conference in Washington.
Anders Corr, an analyst who formerly worked in U.S. intelligence said that around 40 per cent of the sites had not been previously reported. While the activists claim a figure of around 1 million Muslims, Randall Schriver, the top Pentagon official for Asia, announced that the figure was “likely closer to 3 million citizens” — a horrifying number in a region with a population of 20 million people.
Olbert mentioned that the group made many efforts to verify the nature of each site but refused to give greater details due to security reasons. The researches show that the Chinese government is using violence to forcibly blend the Uighur Muslims with the Han Majority.
China in order to give a justification for its policy, denied using any camps and upheld the cause by saying they’re providing vocational training and coaxing Muslims away from extremism.
During the July 2009 Urumqi riots in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, hundreds of Uyghur Muslims disappeared in the concentration camps, never to be seen again.
The US compared China’s Uighur concentration Camps to that of Nazi camps in Germany. Last month, nations like Russia, Pakistan and Egypt who themselves have a questionable record praised Beijing for its “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights” at that UN.
Data including the destruction of cemeteries in Xinjian was documented in an investigation by the AFP last month. Moreover, U.S. lawmakers have also spoken out increasingly on Xinjiang.
In a recent letter, Representative Jim McGovern and Senator Marco Rubio, head of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, encouraged the customs authorities to take “aggressive action” to ban imports of goods from Xinjiang made with forced labour.