(Urumqi, Xinjiang—April 9, 2018) Racially-fueled persecution in China’s northwestern Xinjiang continues to escalate as authorities close schools for minority children across the country only to open camps that torture people of their ethnicity.
Authorities began banning the schools in early March, only permitting schools with a Han Chinese background. As a result, Uyghur, Kazakh, and Mongolian children residing in the area are being forced to attend these Han schools instead of schools that cater specifically to them.
The Han people are China’s ethnic majority and compose 92% of the nation. Kazakhs, Uyghurs, and Mongolians are all minorities residing within Xinjiang, and their racial identity often makes them targets of the Chinese government.
Recently, such persecutions have included arbitrarily holding and torturing Kazakhs in “political training camps,” or specialized detention centers. After 20 prisoners had to be hospitalized for mental breakdowns, information leaked that inmates in one of these camps were deprived sleep and bathroom usage and forced to wear helmets that produced noises for 21 hours each day, only allowing them three hours of asleep. They were forced sing nationalistic songs and recite Chinese.
However, these camps now brim with prisoners, and the Xinjiang government is looking to expand the network in order to arrest more Kazakhs. Because of this, they are now closing schools for ethnic minorities, supermarkets, auditoriums, and farmer’s markets and are rebuilding them into these “political training centers.”
When ChinaAid learned of the closure of the Fourth Uyghur Secondary School of Xinyuan, a reporter contacted Xinyuan’s Ministry of Education and spoke to an official, who confirmed that it had been shut down on March 2 and reopened as a “political training center.”
In the cities and countryside, Kazakhs are being sent to these centers for the most trivial reasons, and the government is increasingly attempting to infiltrate their lives. Local governments assign young Han men, ages 25-45, to live with Kazakh families, saying they are “forming training pairs.” The Han men then insert themselves into the education of the children, teaching them Mandarin. Awhile later, the government sends the Kazakh husband to one of the centers and leaves the woman and children at home with the Han men.
An anonymous Kazakh citizen told ChinaAid, “As time goes on, the Han men and the Kazakh women will inevitably form romantic bonds. The government has planned everything out. No other tyrants in human history have ever thought of this.”
Given this permission, a Han man has already tried to force a 16 year-old Kazakh girl to marry him, threatening to send her parents to the “political training centers” if they didn’t consent. Enraged, the girl’s uncle killed him, and her entire family disappeared into police custody.
Their situation is not unique. Many of the Han men are using threats of imprisonment in the camps as leverage for their personal agendas.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.
ChinaAid Media Team
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