The below article was published by The Sun | Photo credit The Sun
A BEIJING document has revealed the scale of its detention camps – as officials say up to EIGHT MILLION people have gone through “training” at state “gulags”.
The true impact of the Chinese Communist Party government’s internment camps for Uighur and other communities in Xinjiang has been revealed amid international criticism.
China has long been accused of using hellish torture camps to crush political dissent and persecute Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.
In 2018, one female escapee, 29-year-old Mihrigul Tursun, told US politicians she had been electrocuted.
“I thought I would rather die than go through this torture and begged them to kill me,” she said.
And survivor Kayrat Samarkand told how guards used an iron maiden-style metal suit on him.
He told NPR: “They made me wear what they called ‘iron clothes’ – a suit made of metal that weighed over 50lb.
“It forced my arms and legs into an outstretched position. I couldn’t move at all, and my back was in terrible pain.”
Brit consulate worker Simon Cheng says he was abducted and tortured in a camp.
He said he was “blindfolded, handcuffed and shackled”, hung by his wrists, forced to kneel or squat in stress positions, deprived of sleep and beaten.
But Chinese leaders deny the claims and say the internment sites are simply “vocational training centres”.
A report from the government reads: “Through its proactive labour and employment policies, Xinjiang has continuously improved the people’s material and cultural lives, and guaranteed and developed their human rights in every field.”
Figures in the paper reveal the scope of the programme.
More than a million workers – including 415,000 from southern Xinjiang – have gone through the camps every year between 2014 and 2019.
It’s not known if people have gone through the camps more than once.
But in total, nearly eight million people out of a population of around 25 million could have been through the programme, the new figures suggest.
And human rights campaigners say people in Xinjiang have been subjected to surveillance, restrictions on religious and cultural beliefs, and forced sterilisation of women – practices amounting to “cultural genocide”.
This week, a Brit MP likened the centres to concentration camps.
Tory Tom Tugendhat told the Telegraph: “The mass detention of Uighurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang has horrifying echoes of what we witnessed in the 1930s.
What’s happening in Xinjiang?
A new report released by Beijing reveals millions of people have been held in detention camps in Xinjian.
The area is an autonomous region of China in the north-west of the huge country.
It’s home to around 25million people and covers 640,000 square miles, making it the largest province in China.
However, less than ten per cent of the land is fit for human habitation.
It’s been part of China since 1949, and became an autonomous region in 1955.
The area is currently the country’s largest natural gas-producing region.
In recent years, claims that the province’s residents are being held in detention camps have been made by journalists and human rights campaigners.
Last year, one newspaper reported that writers, artists and academics are among those imprisoned.
There are also claims that Uighurs are thrown into the camps for arbitrary reasons, like having beards or wearing veils.
“There have been similar atrocities since, and each time the world has promised to never allow such violations to happen again.
“Yet we now have clear, undeniable evidence of the persecution of more than one million people in so-called re-education camps, with credible reports of physical abuse, forced sterilisation, filthy living conditions and a state-led programme of indoctrination.”
Adrian Zenz, an academic with expertise on Xinjiang, said the number “gives us a possible scope of coercive labour through the centralised, militarised training of rural surplus labourers”.
Beijing denies claims of rights abuses – and says the policies are necessary to crack down on terrorism and help those in poverty.
However, journalists and human rights groups are heavily restricted from inspecting the highly secretive camps.
And this week, clothing chain H&M said it’s ending an “indirect” relationship with a Chinese supplier over claims of “forced labour”.
It follows reports that cotton sourced in Xinjiang was being produced by Uighur Muslims who were being put to work in factories.
A 60-page document submitted to HM Revenue and Customs detailed the “overwhelming and credible evidence concerning the scale and gravity of the forced labour regime in Xinjiang”.