Chinese Muslim “Reeducation” Camps

Chinese Muslim

Hannah Stai, News Editor

From something straight out of the history books, China has secretly constructed prison and internment camps to achieve mass detention of Muslim minorities. Since 2017, China has built roughly 260 prisons that are capable of holding tens of thousands of people.

China has detained hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in large scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities, 75 years after the horrors of World War 2 and German concentration camps. The camps have been built with concrete walls and guard towers, and some even contain factories which suggest forced labor. 

Former detainees describe the horrendous conditions they were forced into: many detainees remain blindfolded and handcuffed, they were often starved of proper nutrients. Prisoners were fed a small diet of rice, steamed buns, and porridge. Due to overcrowding, prisoners were forced to sleep in shifts around a few provided beds. 

“Some of the younger people were not as tolerant as us — they cried and screamed and shouted,” Zhenishan Berdibek, 49, who was held in a reeducation camp back in 2018. Berdibek reported seeing young women being dragged away to solitary confinement, and that she “wanted to die inside the camp.”

Orynbek Koksebek, an ethnic Kazakh, was first detained at the end of 2017. And after only 2 months, his cell had become so cramped that the detainees would share blankets and sleep on the floor. 

Although this was a major controversial story back in late 2019 last year, many human rights activists are worried the imprisonment of Muslims is still ongoing, and without interference, it may never end.