China Has Concentration Camps For Re-Educating Uyghur Muslims – OpEd


It is a measure of the continuing brutality of the Chinese government and of the tolerance of mistreatment of Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism around the world that an official Chinese source has admitted the existence of concentration camps for the re-education of Uyghur Muslims.

A communique by the Standing Committee of the Assembly of People’s Representatives of the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous District contained this admission ( in Chinese; summarized in Russian at

The document specifies that in order to block extremist activities on the territory of the region, the government has set up “special training centers.” Inmates are given ideological training and have their thoughts “put in order,” their behavior “corrected,” and their knowledge of Chinese expanded.

At the same time, the communique said that the centers will only use “a humane approach to re-education.”

During the summer, reports seeped out of the region about the existence of such camps, reports that sparked widespread expressions of horror ( One might have expected the Chinese to avoid confirming the stories, but apparently Beijing feels that the world is in such a state and its position so powerful that it can admit to these horrors.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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