Beijing, China, Jul 30, 2019 / 10:01 am
Government officials from China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region said Tuesday that the area's re-education camps for Muslims have been successful, with most of those held having been reintegrated into Chinese society.
An estimated 1 million Uighurs, members of a Muslim ethnoreligious group, have been detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang, a region in China's northwest that is roughly the size of Iran.
Inside the camps they are reportedly subjected to forced labor, torture, and political indoctrination. Outside the camps, Uighurs are monitored by pervasive police forces and facial recognition technology.
The Chinese government has said reports on the camps by Western governments and media are unfounded, claiming they are vocational training centers and that it is combatting extremism.
Shohrat Zakir, chairman of Xinjiang, said at a July 30 press conference in Beijing that “most of the graduates from the vocational training centers have been reintegrated into society,” according to the AP. “More than 90% of the graduates have found satisfactory jobs with good incomes.”
Xinjiang vice chairman Alken Tuniaz said detainees were allowed to “request time off” and “regularly go home,” the AP reported.
While they are not permitted to practice their religion during their “period of study”, he said, they may do so at home.
Tuniaz also said that “the majority of personnel who received education and training have returned to society and gone back to their homes,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “The majority have successfully secured employment.”