Ford panel addresses internment camps in China
  • Sun, 04/21/2019 - 20:07

Madeline Hinkley
Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 10:36pm

Since the late months of 2017, news media has increasingly published more information about the detainment of ethnic minority groups in China’s “re-education” camps. These internment camps have been in operation since 2014, and the number and size of the camps have increased dramatically since 2017.  Four speakers and a moderator gathered on Thursday evening at the Ford School of Public Policy to participate in a panel titled “The Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang,” with dozens of students filling the audience of Annenberg Auditorium.

The Weiser Diplomacy Center hosted the single-night conference, which aimed to discuss the detainment of Uighur Muslims in East Turkestan. Chinese authorities recognize East Turkestan as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, or XUAR.

The detainment of Muslim ethnic minorities in China primarily targets Uighurs, a group that primarily practices Islam and has experience a long history of severe religious and cultural suppression under the Communist Party of China. The most extreme oppression of Uighur Muslims is now taking the form of their detention in internment camps, where members of ethnic minority groups are taken for “extremist” behavior— which, according to Chinese authorities, can include using Islamic greetings or choosing to eat halal. Detainees in these camps include other Muslim minorities in China, such as ethnic Kazakhs.