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Uyghurs languish in forced labor, re-education camps as Chinese governor preps European visit

Could be 'dress rehearsal' for clampdown on Christians, one expert says

February 14, 2023

Photo by: Alastair Grant

Activists and community members hold a small protest outside the British Foreign Office in central London, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. The protesters are demanding a meeting with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to highlight their concerns for their compatriots in the Chinese Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Rushan Abbas wants to know if her imprisoned sister is still alive. Kuzzat Altay fears for his father’s safety. And Nury Turkel seethes over the U.S. companies he says are effectively funding China’s repression of its Uyghur Muslim minority. These expatriates spoke recently about the effects of Beijing’s yearslong campaign to erase a people’s identity in the restive western Xinjiang region.

For nearly 10 years, Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have increased repression of the Uyghurs, most of whom are Muslims. Critics say the tactics include arbitrary imprisonment of more than one million civilians; setting up “reeducation” camps where Uyghurs are propagandized against their faith; forced labor; forced sterilizations; and torture, including sexual violence.

The Communist regime of President Xi Jinping denies the charges, but in 2021, the Trump administration found China is engaged in genocide against the Uyghurs, and cited the issue in the State Department’s annual report on “Countries of Particular Concern.”

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