The Xinjiang Concentration Camps: What You Need To Know

Lubanah Alayoubi, Editor

How many of you are familiar with the Jewish Holocaust of 1941? What if I told you that the same form of genocide is happening right now in China? How does it make you feel to know that, almost 80 years after such a devastating incident, history is repeating itself once more? 

In 2014, the Chinese government launched “Vocational Education and Training Centers” which are adult schools that are meant to teach certain ethnic groups about the new ways of the Chinese government. Eventually, however, these “re-education camps” were later on exposed as concentration camps that targeted multiple ethnic groups such as the Uyghurs.

The Uyghurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims who originated from the region of Central Asia. Their largest population currently lives in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region (Northwest). Other ethnic groups that are correlated to the cultural genocide include Kyrgyz and Kazakhs. 

As of 2018, Chinese authorities have imprisoned approximately three million Uyghurian Muslims, along with Kazakhs, Hui, and Kyrgyz in various concentration centers around the country. The reason why China has detained all these innocent civilians is solemnly due to its hatred of Islam. The Chinese government has always despised Muslims for their religious beliefs and practices. It believes that, by killing off a large portion of Muslims in its region, it can “end Islam once and for all.”

As a result, hundreds of thousands of innocent victims are being tortured day after day, in the most brutal ways, such as getting hanged, burned, beaten, or stabbed to death. Many are being forced to commit acts that are forbidden in Islam, such as eating pork or converting out of the religion. Young men and their fathers are getting skinned alive and injected with substances that make them infertile. Women are getting viciously raped. Children are crying over their separation from their loved ones. 

Another major issue that recently began taking place is the illegal harvesting of human organs on large farms. Organ harvesting is the surgical removal and preservation of an individual’s internal organs that usually occurs with consent. However, in China, this is a torture mechanism used against prisoners. Many Uyghurian refugees who survived these organ surgeries have mentioned how painful the experience is since they are injected with paralyzer (rather than anesthesia) before the surgery.  So, imagine the horrors of actually undergoing such a dangerous and life-threatening procedure in a Chinese asylum.

Since the Uyghurians cannot defend themselves, we need to fight for their human rights and save them from these brutalities. Otherwise, who will fulfill their needs and bring them justice? When will the change be enforced? Finally, when will the world decide to speak up and use its voice for the voiceless?