China: Officials arrest nearly half of a village’s population and send them to “re-education camps”

CHINA – Almost half of the residents of a village in China’s northwestern Xinjiang are being held in “political re-education camps,” according to an anonymous official.

The official, who spoke with Radio Free Asia, admitted that following orders given by higher-up officials, police in Yengisheher, a village in Qaraqash, Xinjiang, have placed nearly every adult male in a camp, which are notorious for their torture. The orders specifically target Uyghur people born in the 1980s and 1990s, and the official said that only old people and children remain free in the village.

This is taking place among a much wider crackdown in the province, taking aim at predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Across the province, many village officials have received similar commands to arbitrarily arrest a certain number of people each month, culminating in a massive sweep of Uyghur and Kazakh people, many of whom are now crowded into the often overflowing camps, where they face starvation, sleep deprivation, the forced breaking of their halal diets, and other various torturous acts. As a result, some of the inmates have suffered mental breakdowns.

China’s central government has tried to cover up the existence of these camps, but, according to Radio Free Asia, local officials from various parts of Xinjiang have discussed sending Uyghurs to the facilities.

Image: A prisoner in a torture position used in camps that target ethnic minorities in Xinjiang (Credits: ChinaAid). Report written by Brynne Lawrence from ChinaAid; Edited by RNS Staff.

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