The Chinese government has been demolishing Uyghur neighborhoods across East Turkestan, for more than a decade. This has resulted in the loss of physical structures, including Uyghur homes, shops, and religious sites. Uyghurs have been forcibly relocated to heavily monitored apartment blocks.
Religious expression is one of the primary reasons the government is sending people to the expanding network of internment camps across East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang). There are reports of people being sent to the camps for having attended a wedding or funeral where a religious passage was read.
The massive scale and sudden establishment of the concentration camp system in East Turkestan is unprecedented. According to US government estimates, there are a minimum of 800,000 and possibly over 2 million people currently detained. This is up to 20 percent of the Uyghur population.
Chinese government officials have emphasized Mandarin language ability as a marker of modernity and, more recently, a necessity in the fight against “terrorism.”
The Chinese Communist Party poses a fundamental threat to civilized values and a rules-based international order. The Party’s massive crackdown in 2018 is breathtaking, encompassing independent intellectuals, civil society, and religious believers of all kinds, including Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetan Buddhists, Chinese Buddhists, and Hui and Turkic Muslims across the length and breadth of China.
UHRP calls on governments, Muslim and all faith leaders, companies, and academic institutions to end business as usual with the government of China, at a time when it is expanding concentration camps for Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim groups. UHRP asks governments and businesses to think about the judgment of history, and take urgent action.
A new report from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) details how 231 intellectuals have been forcibly disappeared, interned in political indoctrination camps, removed from their posts or imprisoned since April 2017.
UHRP Director Omer Kanat’s testimony entitled, “The Human Rights of Muslim Uyghurs: An Urgent Appeal,” at the October 2018 Congressional Staff Briefing on Religious Freedom on China, co-sponsored by the Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus and the IRF Roundtable.
Oral Statement of UHRP Chairman Nury Turkel, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Asia Subcommittee Hearing
Oral Statement of UHRP Chairman Nury Turkel, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Asia Subcommittee Hearing: “China’s Repression and Internment of Uyghurs: U.S. Policy Responses.” September 26, 2018.
Book Talk with Darren Byler
Watch the UHRP event in conversation with anthropologist Dr. Darren Byler, a leading expert on the Uyghur crisis, about his new book In the Camps: China's High-Tech Penal Colony.
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