The Silent Suffering of the Uighurs

This graphic depicts various Uighurs holding up relatives that have either been killed or missing in detainment camps. To the right, Chinese officials are marching with the flag of China. All figures form the outline of Xinjiang, the region in which the highest number of camps run.Catherine Xu

Catherine Xu and Shary Ali
February 13, 2020

In a large country, remote facilities run hundreds of “re-education” camps dedicated to completely erasing the cultural identity of an ethnic minority. In this specific corner of the globe, the religious freedom that we in the U.S. so carelessly take for granted is not a right, but a rarity. This is the reality of the Xinjiang region of China, where every day, Uighurs are taken from their families and deprived of their way of life. 

“All of my family besides my parents and one of my uncles is back there suffering,” sophomore Zilala Mamat said. 

For the past decade or so, China’s harsh efforts to control the Xinjiang province, known to its residents as East Turkestan, have dramatically escalated. Starting around April 2017, China began detaining Uighurs, Uzbeks, Kazakhs and other Turkic minorities.