Concentration Camps in China

Bhoomi Sharma, Staff Writer

Today, there are almost two million Muslims in concentration camps in China, called ‘vocational education facilities’ by the country. Evidence of these camps in Xinjiang started to emerge in 2018, although China denied all inquiries about their existence at first. BBC News wrote an article about discovering these camps through Google satellites, noting the rapid growth of these camps and the educational facade it hid under. 


Today, China claims they are just an act of ‘counter terrorism’, so as to protect their country from future pain. According to a New York Times article called ‘Facing Criticism Over Muslim Camps, they have replied to questions about the camps almost offensively, China Says: What’s the Problem?’. The article mentioned that China called the accusations “crude meddling in China’s internal affairs.” The country is releasing videos about terrorists from Muslim minorities hurting people and commiting terrorizing acts, to excus their actions.


As of today, nothing is being done about this issue. Children and their parents are being separated, and places like schools are being covered in electric wire to keep the younger ones in check. The kids are called ‘kindness students’, according to the Washington Post, on account of the government being ‘kind enough’ to commit cultural genocide and cut off Uighur and other Muslim minority traditions, languages, etc, to indoctrincate them to the Han Chinese majority. 


Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) reports the crimes being committed in these concentration camps, mentioning that, “Security personnel at the camps subjected detainees to torture, including beatings; electric shocks; waterboarding; medical neglect; forced ingestion of medication; sleep deprivation; extended solitary confinement; and handcuffing or shackling for prolonged periods.” 


Time Magazine reported about the concentration camps in China in their article,“The China Cable”.  They mention how a data leak of a document in November included memos that had instructions on how these camps should be run. Some of these instructions include never allowing attempts of escapes, punishment of behavioral violations, along with rules on how they should sleep, walk and work schedules. BBC News also mentioned that the memo will only release detainees when they can “demonstrate that they have transformed their behaviour, beliefs and languages.” 


These horrors start with children, but do not end there. News outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times are calling out governments, asking how long they will continue to turn the other cheek to these concentration camps, that seem eerily similar to another period of history that everyone would rather forget, all over again.