Beijing says Uyghurs in internment camps have ‘graduated’

Domestic News

Screenshot from CGTN’s 50-minute video titled, “Fighting terrorism in Xinjiang” (link below)

After exposés published by the New York Times (porous paywall) and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists detailing China’s detention of a million or more Uyghurs and other Muslims in indoctrination camps, Beijing has begun a propaganda offensive on Twitter and YouTube, and with a press conference where the token Uyghur leader of Xinjiang made a series of dubious claims.

From state broadcaster CGTN:

Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government in northwest China, voiced his condemnation of the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of a Xinjiang-related bill during a press conference on Monday, calling it gross interference of Washington in China’s internal affairs.

Per the Guardian:

In response to growing international criticism of the detention of up to 1.5 million people in re-education and other internment camps, the Xinjiang governor, Shohrat Zakir, told reporters in Beijing that they had “returned to society.”

Zakir said on Monday: “At present, all the trainees who participated…have completed their studies, found stable employment with the help of the government and have improved their quality of life and live a happy life.”

He said the programme focused on teaching Chinese language skills, law and vocational skills to “eliminate extremism.”

Zakir did not present any evidence for any of these claims. See also:

In the New York Times:

A last-minute booking, a furtive cab ride and a spy in the window. How our correspondent found a crack in China’s surveillance state — and a woman on her deathbed in Xinjiang.

Asiye Abdulaheb said she had helped spread documents exposing China’s detentions of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

Chinese-language editorials from Xinhua:


Geneticist Yves Moreau tells NPR’s Scott Simon the ethical concerns he has for businesses and academics who may be helping Chinese authorities to track Muslim minority groups.