State Dept. official: China holding 800k Muslim minorities in internment camps

BY MEGAN KELLER - 12/05/18 12:09 PM EST

State Department official Scott Busby told senators this week that China has detained at least 800,000 Muslim minorities in internment camps. 

"The U.S. government assesses that since April 2017, Chinese authorities have indefinitely detained at least 800,000 and possibly more than 2 million Uighurs, ethnic Khazakhs, and other members of Muslim minorities in internment camps," Busby, the deputy assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Tuesday.

"Reports suggest that most of those detained are not being charged with crimes and their families have little to no information about their whereabouts," he said.

"Former detainees who have reached safety have spoken of relentless indoctrination and harsh conditions," Busby told the committee. "For example, praying and other religious practices are forbidden.

"The apparent goal is to force detainees to renounce Islam and embrace the Chinese communist party."

Busby referenced the testimony of Mihrigul Tursun, a Uighur mother who survived one of the Chinese re-education camps and spoke before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China last week.

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