Uighur camps will slowly disappear: Xinjiang official

Mar 13, 2019, 6:12 AM EDT
(Source: futureatlas.com/flickr)
(Source: futureatlas.com/flickr)

The “vocational training centers” in China’s Xinjiang province, where a million of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities have been kept in prolonged, arbitrary detention, will be phased out when the “society does not need” them.

Xinjiang Governor Shohrat Zakir made this remark, as he rubbished the chilling reports of torture and persecution of Uighur Muslims in mass internment camps, which China describes as “vocational training centers,” writes Al Jazeera.

China has drawn flak for alleged human rights abuse in these camps, where former detainees say they are held against their will, cut off from their families, and forced to speak Mandarin, notes The Guardian.

An analyst points out that the move to gradually shut down the camps is a result of financial unviability of the mass internment system. The government may not shut all of them down, instead continue to use them as a bugbear for social control.