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May 15 - China Has Detained Millions of Muslims in Concentration Camps.


 


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 6 days ago '06        #1
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May 15 - China Has Detained Millions of Muslims in Concentration Camps.
 

 
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China is carrying out the largest mass human internment of the twenty-first century. The Chinese government has reportedly imprisoned three million of its Muslim ethnic minority population in Xinjiang province, on the country’s western border. Reports say about ten percent of the region’s Uighur Muslim population has vanished behind the walls of concentration camps. Detainees have been subjected to totalitarian indoctrination and tortured for what the Chinese government characterizes as crimes against the Communist Party, including charges of terrorism, but which in reality can be as innocuous as growing a beard, translating into English, owning a compass, or quitting smoking. Many detainees have reportedly “disappeared,” and many have died. The United Nations and governments around the world—including the United States—have acknowledged the extensive human rights abuses, but the Trump administration hasn’t yet announced plans for substantive action.

The Chinese government calls the program a system of “re-education camps”—Chinese officials have described them as free vocational training and boarding schools to combat Muslim extremism. But intrepid reporting over the last year from global media outlets, aided by the cooperation of former detainees, has exposed the camps for what they are.

Lined with watchtowers and razor wire, the interiors carved up into spartan classrooms and constrictive cells, they appear from outside and inside alike to be nothing other than vast prisons. The government subjects the interned Muslims to a variety of mental and physical torture, including solitary confinement, a barrage of brainwashing, and beatings and mysterious forced injections. According to interviews with former detainees, the regimen has led many people to commit suicide.

The program isn’t new to us, or at least shouldn’t be. Major global press outlets, including American media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, have published extensive reporting on the camps over the last year or so, including hidden camera footage from inside the walls. But somehow the story eludes the collective American consciousness. Perhaps—stick with me here—it’s because the targets are Muslims.

When asked about the scale of the abuses in a Face the Nation interview earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there were “up to a million [Muslims] held in reeducation camps.” However, Randall Schriver, head of Asia policy at the U.S. Defense Department, recently told reporters during a press briefing, “The (Chinese) Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps,” and pegged the number of detained Uighurs at “closer to three million citizens.” When Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan reminded Pompeo he was at odds with his own government in both terminology and a*sessment, Pompeo snorted, “Don’t—don’t play ticky-tack.”

After Pompeo met with a group of Uighur Americans this spring, one of the group said his family members were arrested and imprisoned four days later in an apparent act of retaliation from the Chinese government.

The conflict between the Uighurs and the Chinese government isn’t new. It dates back decades, and in the abstract much longer than that. Over the last ten years or so, however, Xinjiang has seen several violent uprisings as the oppressed Muslim minorities—the Uighurs, as well as Kazakhs and Tartars—have sought freedom and autonomy from the country’s Han ethnic majority and ruling class. (The Uighurs call Xinjiang “Oriental Turkistan,” and they bear their own flag, which the Chinese government has banned.)

Uighurs in Xinjiang (though again, they’re not the only Muslim minority targeted in the sweeping government campaign) live under what’s been described as a “fully-fledged police state,” including oppressive restrictions the government has imposed on their religious practices, as well as their cultural traditions and private lives. This includes ubiquitous public surveillance, such as the hundreds of thousands of cameras in Xinjiang—on streets, in front of every mosque, and even in taxis and at bathroom entrances—connected to the country’s national dystopian facial recognition network. The government’s digital sight also reaches into the homes of private citizens.

That totalitarian infrastructure is itself part of a larger, dystopian state security apparatus administered nationwide under Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese have long championed political transformation through education (in reality all too often indoctrination), the extreme recent example being the reformations enacted during Mao Zedong’s rule. President Xi, who in 2017 China enshrined as leader-for-life—an anti-democratic development which President Donald Trump characterized as an “extraordinary elevation” in a congratulatory message—often cites Mao’s influence on his current regime.

James Millward, a China historian with Georgetown University, sees it in more severe terms: “Cultural cleansing is Beijing’s attempt to find a final solution to the Xinjiang problem.” But last year a Chinese envoy to the U.N. downplayed the program as free vocational training with language education. This apparently noble effort itself, however, seems at odds with what the same official described in the same speech as efforts to transform the ideology of Chinese citizens “who have been lured into terrorist activities.” That effort, he added, “is nothing to do with religion.” He went on to laud China’s efforts to promote human rights.

LIFE IN THE CAMPS

The Chinese government has kept a tight lid on the internment program, offering no publicly available data on how many camps there are or how many people it has detained. However, journalistic research into bids on government contracts, satellite photos, and recruitment ads has revealed that construction is ongoing. Here are some details on life in the camps, taken from personal accounts former detainees have provided reporters.

Five armed policemen arrested one detainee on his parents’ doorstep, claiming they had a warrant for his arrest in a far-away town where he’d lived years before. They wouldn’t let him call a lawyer, saying his case was “special.”

Police held him in a cell for a week without access to outside communication, after which they drove him the 500 miles to his former town. Police then strapped him into what’s called a “tiger chair,” that cinched his wrists and ankles. In a scene reminiscent of the U.S.’ own “enhanced interrogation techniques,” they reportedly then strapped him up by his wrists with his back to what he described as a barred wall, forcing him to stand on the balls of his bare feet or hang and endure intolerable pain. Police wanted to know about his connections to Muslim activists in China and abroad, and about his work with a tourist group that facilitated Chinese applications for Kazakh visas, which the police told him was a front to help Muslims (presumably thought to be terrorists) flee the country. The interrogation lasted several days, and at the end he gave them a few names.

The police then locked the detainee in a small cell with 17 other prisoners, all with their feet chained to the legs of two beds. They were transferred to a camp that held about 1,000 prisoners, where for weeks on end they were subjected to indoctrination the man described as brutal. From a report in the Independent:

Mr Bekali was kept in a locked room almost around the clock with eight other internees, who shared beds and a wretched toilet. Cameras were installed in toilets and even outhouses. Baths were rare, as was washing of hands and feet, which internees were allegedly told was equated with Islamic ablution.

Mr Bekali and other former internees said the worst parts of the indoctrination program were forced repetition and self-criticism. Although students did not understand much of what was taught and the material bordered on the nonsensical to them, they were made to internalise it by repetition in sessions lasting two hours or longer.

“We will oppose extremism, we will oppose separatism, we will oppose terrorism,” they chanted again and again. Almost every day, the students received guest lecturers from the local police, judiciary and other branches of government warning about the dangers of separatism and extremism.

In four-hour sessions, instructors lectured about the dangers of Islam and drilled internees with quizzes that they had to answer correctly or be sent to stand near a wall for hours on end.

“Do you obey Chinese law or Sharia?” instructors asked. “Do you understand why religion is dangerous?”

They lived in locked cells with several other detainees, sharing beds and a toilet. There were cameras trained on the toilets and outhouses. Some detainees were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, both forbidden in Muslim culture. Detainees would wake at dawn, then sing the Chinese anthem and raise the flag. They’d be packed into classrooms where they practiced propaganda songs—“Without the Communist Party, there is no New China”—and were taught Mandarin, much of which was nonsense to many and only memorized through repetition. The people in charge forced them to criticize themselves and the other detainees, and forced to repeat en masse short propaganda phrases for hours at a time. They ate vegetable soup and buns, and before each meal were ordered to chant, “Thank the Party! Thank the Motherland! Thank President Xi!”

Detainees who eventually confessed to the alleged crimes charged against them were forced to repeat, “We have done illegal things, but we now know better.”

One former detainee who has since fled to Turkey described a harrowing, humiliating, dehumanizing experience. She was forced to repeat, “I am Chinese. I am proud of China,” thousands of times, while standing and under constant watch of armed policemen in the class. The walls of one classroom were painted with the message: “Follow the directives of President Xi Jinping on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.” She described several instances of violence, such as police bursting into classrooms to remove people. “I never saw those people again,” she said. She described hearing calls for help during dinner: “Saddest voices I ever heard. We thought they were being tortured.”

Some prisoners, she said, were given injections—not medical injections but “like torture, used to control their minds.” Prisoners would stick their arms through an opening in their cell door to receive the shots. “Soon after the injections, we didn’t get our periods anymore,” she said.

The Chinese government has since issued propaganda videos to explain the camps. They show students in brightly lit language classes and workshops where they learn sewing and carpentry. They look comfortable.

Many people in the Muslim communities themselves still seem in the dark about what goes on in the camps—or they feign ignorance. They’ve described them to reporters as possibly schools, where their father or brothers are students learning languages. But such ignorance seems like a stretch. After all, people have been released. “We never left our twenty-square-meter room,” one woman said, when asked about the government videos. “It’s a lie.”

It would seem natural, of course, that Muslims wouldn’t want to admit what they know about the camps to journalists. Foreign Policy magazine reported that Muslims can be sent to concentration camps for 48 reasons, many of them absurd: Owning a tent; growing a beard; not smoking or drinking alcohol; wearing a scarf in the presence of the Chinese flag; “inviting multiple families to your house without registering with the police department”; traveling abroad; speaking to someone who has traveled abroad; or being related to someone who has done any of these things. One woman, a mother of three, was arrested because she had a photo on her phone of a girl praying. She was accused of terrorism.

The crackdown now transcends China’s borders to the Uighur diaspora abroad. The Chinese Embassy in France, for instance, has refused to give critical papers to Uighurs living there, which they need to establish identity. The goal, apparently, is to force them to return to China, where they will be arrested and imprisoned.

THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES

The only degree of credibility we can give the Chinese government’s claims of terrorism is that some Muslim groups (outside of Xinjiang) who side with the Uighur independence movement have also aligned themselves with terrorist groups. For instance, the Turkistan Islamic Party—which operates out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria—produces Islamist extremism recruitment propaganda. And China has indeed experienced jihadist terrorist attacks, though not many, and none of them severe. That said, these groups don’t have much sway in Xinjiang.



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37 comments for "May 15 - China Has Detained Millions of Muslims in Concentration Camps."

 6 days ago '12        #2
Phuck Yiu 36 heat pts36
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I cant say im surprised at this.
+4   

 6 days ago '14        #3
strungout 408 heat pts408
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China is carrying out the largest mass human internment of the twenty-first century.

what in the entire fu*k
+3   

 6 days ago '15        #4
John Paxson 1 heat pts
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This sh*t been going on for more than a year
+9   

Top 10 most slapped recently  6 days ago '17        #5
Chozen Ones 23 heat pts23
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These are the type of things that occur and are prolonged when socialism/communism is left un-checked in its infancy
-3   

 6 days ago '04        #7
deziking 117 heat pts117
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Isn't it crazy you dont hear any news from china on terrorist attacks and such.
+5   

 6 days ago '17        #8
Naga Sadow 35 heat pts35
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Why can't people just treat other people with dignity?

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 6 days ago '15        #9
RIPrjacks23 9 heat pts
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Wow, persecuted because of religion...and I'm amazed at how dumb people are they really think Muslims are terrorists...they think they can brainwash it out of them...this sh*t is asinine....sounds like North Korea...
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 6 days ago '15        #10
John Paxson 1 heat pts
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 deziking said
Isn't it crazy you dont hear any news from china on terrorist attacks and such.
Bruh they blocked google lol, so no it’s not hard to believe
+2   

 6 days ago '04        #11
deziking 117 heat pts117
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 John Paxson said
Bruh they blocked google lol, so no it’s not hard to believe
Google isn't the only way though.

 6 days ago '04        #12
TBX 32 heat pts32
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I know it's bad, I just have no way of knowing how bad. Hard to gauge anything on the other side of the world

 6 days ago '12        #13
OldBusiness 179 heat pts179
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 John Paxson said
This sh*t been going on for more than a year
Yeah i made a thread about it 2 years ago. Didnt get 1 reply lol


Chinas detaining muslims in camps, and Americas detaining people at our southern border.

Both countries want you to think theyre not the same
+12   

 6 days ago '12        #14
OldBusiness 179 heat pts179
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 deziking said
Isn't it crazy you dont hear any news from china on terrorist attacks and such.
They block the news there going in and coming out.

But sh*t in 2014 or 2015 they had like 40 terrorist attacks in one year.
+4   

 6 days ago '12        #15
Di Warlord 9 heat pts
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 deziking said
Isn't it crazy you dont hear any news from china on terrorist attacks and such.
word... wonder what China's response would be if their people were to get hit with a 9/11 or a Paris 2017 attack

hope it never happens to them, though. I'm just curious how they would react. They'd probably suppress the fu*k out of the news though
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 6 days ago '04        #16
stay alert 
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Its no surprise because China is a communist the government can do what they want including shutting down the internet for the whole country and control everything including what news gets out and what news comes in.
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 6 days ago '04        #17
Decan45 2 heat pts
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 RIPrjacks23 said
Wow, persecuted because of religion...and I'm amazed at how dumb people are they really think Muslims are terrorists...they think they can brainwash it out of them...this sh*t is asinine....sounds like North Korea...
One religion being persecuted by another, albeit secular religion of the state.

 6 days ago '04        #18
Decan45 2 heat pts
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 OldBusiness said
Yeah i made a thread about it 2 years ago. Didnt get 1 reply lol


Chinas detaining muslims in camps, and Americas detaining people at our southern border.

Both countries want you to think theyre not the same
Which thing is worse?
-1   

 6 days ago '18        #19
Youngshinebox 129 heat pts129
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China’s not going for that Extremist BS. Radical Islam is better off not testing China, if they willing to do this to average Muslims imagine what’s they do to terrorists.

Jeesh
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 6 days ago '17        #20
Coffee 48 heat pts48
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BX Stormfronters in here lowkey talking about 'terrorism' like that has anything to do with what China is doing.


China didn't have a terrorism problem, this is ethnic issue that China is acting out against just as much as Religious issue. They've got a problem with Islam existing in China in general, but stuff like this always backfires in one way or another.
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 6 days ago '16        #21
Rainhands 27 heat pts27
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 Youngshinebox said
China’s not going for that Extremist BS. Radical Islam is better off not testing China, if they willing to do this to average Muslims imagine what’s they do to terrorists.

Jeesh
Wtf are you talking about? They are imprisoning INNOCENT people simply for being Muslim. It has nothing to do with terrorism because the beef between Han Chinese and this Muslim minority began way back before radical Islam was a talking point in the West or even China for that matter. It's all because they don't wanna be Chinese and want their own culture respected.

They are making Muslims change heir names, eat pork and marry into Chinese families. The same thing happened with black slaves in America, especially those from Muslim regions. They changed your name, fed you pork, gave you their religion of Christianity and sold your wives/daughters off. And you somehow think this is acceptable? Shameful.
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 6 days ago '16        #22
Rainhands 27 heat pts27
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 Coffee said
BX Stormfronters in here lowkey talking about 'terrorism' like that has anything to do with what China is doing.


China didn't have a terrorism problem, this is ethnic issue that China is acting out against just as much as Religious issue. They've got a problem with Islam existing in China in general, but stuff like this always backfires in one way or another.
Lol you've clocked the fu*kery comments. This is extreme racism and they are trying to produce an ethnic cleansing because the Muslims are proud of their culture and refuse to adapt to the parties way of life.

Let's be clear that these people are innocent and not troublesome. A Chinese friend of mine(who actually grew up in china) said regular Chinese people like these Muslims and find their culture interesting. This is a government move and does not reflect how the average citizen feels. But you gotta keep your mouth shut in that country otherwise you and your family could be targeted.
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 6 days ago '16        #23
00010111 124 heat pts124
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 Chozen Ones said
These are the type of things that occur and are prolonged when socialism/communism is left un-checked in its infancy

[pic - click to view]



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 6 days ago '11        #24
SomeOnesoN 213 heat pts213
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And what the hell are the Muslims (Al Queda, ISIS, HAMAS, EYC,) doing about it? Absolutely nothing, because they're not clean when it comes to their human rights.
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 6 days ago '14        #25
Blazeyy 2 heat pts
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 Chozen Ones said
These are the type of things that occur and are prolonged when socialism/communism is left un-checked in its infancy
Hitler’s party was also branded as socialist, doesnt mean it was
-1   

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