Amnesty International Urges China to End ‘Brainwashing’ Muslims in Xinjiang
Beijing: Amnesty International (AI) in a report on Monday urged the Chinese government to end the “brainwashing” of nearly one million Muslims held in “re-education” camps in the Xinjiang Uighur region. In the past year, the government has intensified its campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation against the region’s Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, according to the report. The campaign prohibits any display of religious and cultural affiliation, including growing an “abnormal” beard, wearing a veil or head scarf, regular prayer, fasting or avoidance of alcohol, or possessing books or articles about Islam or Uighur culture as Chinese authorities consider them “extremist” behaviour, reports Efe news. It is estimated that currently nearly one million Muslims are being held by the authorities in re-education camps, without the right to trial, access to lawyers or contact with family members, the report said.
“The mass detention camps are places of brainwashing, torture and punishment. A simple act of messaging your family abroad can get you detained highlights how ludicrous, unjustified and completely arbitrary the Chinese authorities’ actions are,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia Director. The Chinese government justifies these measures as part of its counter-extremism and counter-terrorism efforts and only releases an individual who “has been transformed”. (IANS)