Home » News » Why does China have Uighur ‘re-education camps’? And are they really shutting down?
Why does China have Uighur ‘re-education camps’? And are they really shutting down?
For the past two years, more than a million Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in northwestern China, have been living in camps described by the regional government as vocational training centers designed to “carry out anti-extremist ideological education.”
The Chinese government maintains that Uighurs enjoy the same rights and freedom of religion as other citizens in Xinjiang, China, and have not been arbitrarily held in the camps.
But a network of Chinese human rights groups reported this month that Uighurs have been tortured in the camps, and more than 20 member states of the United Nations urged China to release the Uighurs.
Chinese officials announced in late July that most of the people in the camps have been released, but there’s reason to question that, says Philip Thai, an associate professor at Northeastern who studies modern Chinese history.