The Xinjiang Uyghur Camps: What You Need To Know

    Desa Park City

    All countries have their different way of treating Muslims. While countries like The USA are still affected by the 9/11 attack and discriminates the Ismalic believers to no end, Malaysia has more freedom on the Muslim’s side. They can walk freely around Desa Park City or travel to Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Taman Tun, or TTDI with no worry. However, one country instills fear among the Muslims who live there, and news broke out to the world of the truth behind its walls.

    Between 1933 and 1945, the world was introduced to the dark side of humanity that history never dares to eradicate, nay this particular past was retold over and over throughout the years in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust – a genocide of European Jews by the German Nazi regime. To this day, the horrific term still brought terror from generation to generation over the cruelty of human life and how the perpetrators of evil acts see them as trivial and unimportant due to the people’s deviance (racially inferior, homosexuality, enemies of the state). 

    Although this inhumane scheme has been put to a stop since and moved on, the year 2019 made waves about Xinjiang, China regarding the disappearances of Uyghur Muslims and speculations about them being taken away to internment camps, which was later denounced as an act of genocide in the making. The world feared that history may repeat again as the Holocaust has disclosed enough to unveil its gruesome and grotesque nature.

    Here are things you need to know about the Uyghurs’ condition in China:

    There Are 400 Internment Camps In China

    Reports in September 2020 revealed China has built nearly 400 camps which they insist the settlements are intended to educate the Uyghurs and deny it as prisons. A tour video of the camp shows the Uyghur Muslims learning Mandarin, studying China’s restrictions on religion, and practicing loyalty to the Chinese government. Despite it being called a re-education camp, survivors described their experience in the camps as “psychologically, physically, and sexually abusive” and subjected to assimilation and indoctrination into the Chinese culture by force. It is common knowledge that Muslims are not allowed to consume pork and drink alcohol, however in the camps, they are tortured to do just that.

    Leaked Texts From Former Uyghur Model

    Desa Park City

    A sudden arrest without reason of Taobao model Merdan Ghappar was followed by news of his detention propagated on social media in early March 2020. The 30-year-old was able to bring his phone and recorded a video of himself in dirty clothes, bruised ankles, and his left wrist was fixed to his bed with handcuffs. The video, along with his text messages with his family who live outside China, was leaked and shed light on the true colors of the detention camp.

    The texts revealed the extreme living conditions of the detainees; screams from torture, many people at once jammed into small rooms, wearing a four-piece suit with an iron chain connecting cuffs to shackles, and many more uneasy circumstances. Ghappar was never heard from since after the video was sent to his family. 

    The “Re-education” Camp Unmasked

    China faced backlash globally and accused of overseeing oppressive surveillance, brutal internment camps, and physical and psychological torture of ethnic minorities such as Uyghurs, yet they admit none of the wrongdoing. The same goes for the camps, China’s denial of the camps’ existence gave away as they justify the camps as voluntary transformation through education and are intended for anti-extremism.

    It is estimated that there are one million Muslims, like Uyghurs and Kazakhs, have been detained in these camps in Xinjiang. They have no right to decline the camp and were sent by force. As mentioned before about the detainees’ conditions, it was revealed by former camp detainee Kairat Samarkan that besides being shackled, they were also forced to sing political, communist songs and chant slogans giving thanks wishing long life for the Chinese president before meals or endure harsh punishment. 

    Every camp is a site of brainwashing, torture, and punishment and it is the authorities’ decision whether the detainees are “transformed.” Should there be any who resist or fail to “transform” will face verbal or physical abuse, food deprivation, solitary confinement, and many more unimaginable disciplines? Deaths have been reported in the camp, including suicides for those unable to bear any more of the torture. If you are interested in reading something related to China, click here.

    Uyghurs has suffered human rights violations for a long time. The ethnic minority groups in China are living in permanent fear for their fates are unknown in the country. However, with exposure by Samarkan, Ghappar and other survivors have raised global awareness to speak out about the injustice and oppression of the gravest human rights crimes ever existed.