Coronavirus fears for China’s Uighur camps

Detainees listening to speeches in a re-education camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, April 2017

13.02.2020

Advocacy groups for China’s persecuted Uighurs are warning of the risk of coronavirus spreading through camps in which vast numbers of the mostly-Muslim minority are being held in the country’s northwest.

Pro-Uighur campaign groups, such as the World Uyghur Congress and the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, have warned of the dangers faced by as many as 2 million Uighurs locked up in often-crowded camps.

As of Thursday, more than 3,500 people had signed a petition on the change.org website urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to take action “before coronavirus outbreaks in [the] concentration camp.”

“The risk of mass outbreaks and coronavirus related deaths in China’s concentration camps in the Uyghur region remains ignored despite confirmed cases in the region and the deplorable conditions in the camps,” says the petition.

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