From the spring of last year, the authorities of China in Uyghur and Kazakh have amassed what could conceivably be a million Muslims, including even some foreign civilians, in massive detainment and “re-education” concentration camps, where they are to be seized and “constructed” into prototypical Chinese citizens.
The detention campaign is known to be a trademark of China’s government safekeeping gear, bolstered by the greatly xenophobic, hard-hitting regulation of President Xi Jinping. Hailed from a partway ingrained belief the ancient Chinese held in the idea of transformation through education, which has been adjusted to horrifying ends before on one occasion during the mass reform operations of Mao Zedong, China looks to bring about this harmful policy once again — resurrecting a division of history that is renounced by all of humanity.
A historian of China at Georgetown University, James Millward said, “Cultural cleansing is Beijing’s attempt to find a final solution to the Xinjiang problem.”
“China’s re-education system echoes some of the worst human rights violations in history,” said Rian Thum, a professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. “The closest analogy is maybe the Cultural Revolution in that this will leave long-term, psychological effects […] this will create a multigenerational trauma from which many people will never recover,” Thum added.
The whole agenda and purpose of the incarceration program, which is manufactured predominantly on a basis of racism rather than islamophobia, is to reform the people into exemplary Chinese individuals. They aim to refurbish the diplomatic thinking of detainees, totally rub out their Islamic beliefs and reformat their very identities into something that would be fit for them, essentially remanufacturing them into an ideal Chinese citizen. Over the past year or so, the camps have been seen to mushroom their branches with barely any judicial procedure or legal rules and regulations limiting the authorities of the camps. Captives are coerced into eating pork and drinking alcohol there, which is something that refutes fundamental Muslim beliefs and females are being forced to marry Chinese men without consent. Those who most dynamically condemn the people and things they love are being rewarded, meanwhile those who refuse to do so are being punished with solitary confinement, whippings and food deprivation.
For the most part, Chinese authorities have dodged every bullet for serving any comments relating to the camps and have even gone to the extent of saying that the people of China are “free to practice any religion.” However, some are quoted in national media as saying that religious transformations are needed to combat autonomy and Islamic extremism. Militant Muslim Uyghurs have killed thousands in recent years, which is why China believes that the area is at risk for peace because of minorities in a country where the majority is Han Chinese.
Omir Bekali, a sturdy and discreet 42-year-old Kazakh citizen, was one of the Muslims who were hindered and detained in mass re-education camps. Mr. Bekali shared some of the remembrances of his life there, which shows to be the most comprehensive description yet of life within the re-education camps. He told The Independent that he was incarcerated there without any prosecution or access to a lawyer and forced to renounce his beliefs while worshipping the Communist Party.
Bekali said that whenever he would refuse to abide by the given commands in the camp, he was forced to stand at a wall for five hours at a time. He claimed that he was sent to solitary confinement a week later, where he was denied food for a whole of 24 hours. After 20 days in the heavily restrained camp, he said he contemplated suicide, which saw him serving seven months in a prison.
“The psychological pressure is enormous, when you have to criticize yourself, denounce your thinking, your own ethnic group,” said Mr. Bekali, who broke down in tears as he described the camp. “I still think about it every night, until the sun rises. I can’t sleep. The thoughts are with me all the time.”
The paradigm of Omir Bekali distinctively sticks out mostly because he was a foreign citizen, who was unlawfully taken into custody by China’s security agencies and detained for eight months last year without any way out. Even though some particulars are not viable to be validated, two Kazakh representatives confirmed he was seized for seven months and then conducted to re-education.
The Chinese concentration camps have speeded across Xinjiang, a territory the size of Mexico, and they are being referred to as “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today” by a U.S. commission.
Sign this petition to help the 1 million Uyghurs and more detained in these camps.
Photo Credit: ForeignPolicy