Senior Chinese officials made the surprising announcement on Tuesday that the authorities had released most detainees held in the government’s mass internment program for ethnic minority Muslims in China’s far west, but provided no firm numbers or specific details to support their assertion.
Alken Tuniaz, vice chairman of the government of the region of Xinjiang, said 90 percent of people held in what the government calls vocational training centers had been returned to society. It was a contention that would be nearly impossible to independently verify in the tightly controlled region and flew in the face of accounts of disappearances and detentions that have been compiled by relatives abroad and human rights groups.
Detainees who have been released from the camps say they were subjected to a high-pressure indoctrination program with the goal of removing any devotion to Islam and encouraging loyalty to China and its ruling Communist Party.
Uighur activists are skeptical of Chinese officials’ announcement that most detainees in Xinjiang have been released. “Uighurs abroad continue to be unable to reach their relatives in the region. No phone calls, no internet communications,” one said. https://t.co/HhhhEUPh9r
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 30, 2019