06/19/2018, 14.55
CHINA
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Uyghur men jailed in mass arrests in Xinjiang

In one village, about 40 per cent of the population has been deported to a re-education camp. As China’s persecution of the Uyghur continues, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested without cause. All men born in the 1980s and 1990s are considered a danger and interned.

Urumqi (AsiaNews/RFA) – The entire male population of a village in Xinjiang (western China) has been interned in a re-education camp, this according to Radio Free Asia.

A duty officer with the Chinibagh township police station in Qaraqash recently said that in his home village of Yengisheher, almost all of the adult males have been deported.

“Overall, 40 per cent of the population in our village is currently in re-education camps,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Only women, children and the elderly are left.

This has decimated the local labour force. “If the husband is taken away, his wife must take over his work, and where there are young children in a family . . . they must help in the fields,” the officer said.

For families with no remaining able-bodied members, “the village cadres have made arrangements for their fields to be cultivated by other people,” he added.

The officer said none of his siblings had been placed in the camps because his grandfather had taught them to “refrain from anything which would get us into trouble, and to always be loyal and give a good impression to the authorities.”

Village authorities are following an official directive that brands Uyghurs born in the 1980s and 1990s as “members of an unreliable and untrustworthy generation” and targets them for re-education because they are considered “susceptible” to influence by dangerous elements.

A source in Aqsaray, a township in Qaraqash County, told RFA at the end of last year that he and other local officials had received an order from county-level authorities to target 40 per cent of the population for re-education.

At the time, RFA found that around 5,000 of Qaraqash’s population of 34,000 people—or nearly 15 per cent of the county’s residents—had already been taken away to re-education camps.

Reports suggest similar orders for “quotas” have been given in other areas of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

China's central government has not publicly acknowledged the existence of re-education camps in the XUAR. The number of inmates and their conditions remain unknown.

Citing credible reports, US lawmakers Marco Rubio and Chris Smith, who head the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said recently that as many as 500,000 to a million people are or have been detained in the re-education camps, calling it “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”

Adrian Zenz, a lecturer in social research methods at the Germany-based European School of Culture and Theology, said the number “could be closer to 1.1 million, which equates to 10-11 percent of the adult Muslim population of the region."

Uyghurs are a Muslim ethnic group, indigenous to Xinjiang, in north-western China. The persecution against them has intensified since April 2017.

They have been accused of having "strong religious views" and "politically incorrect" opinions. For this reason, they have been frequently imprisoned or detained in camps. Others are interned in psychiatric clinics, where they go crazy.

Uyghurs’ phones are controlled by the authorities, they are not allowed to celebrate Ramadan, and their language has been banned from schools.

Since 2016, Xinjiang residents who apply for a passport must provide a DNA sample, all in the name of "national stability".

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