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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Millions of Muslims held captive

    By Leslie Lim
    Guest Writer

    In early February of 2017, the Chinese government began cracking down on Uighur Muslims, and have imprisoned thousands of people in Xinjiang camps under the guise of education. NBC estimates that as of January, more than a million Muslims have been detained.

    Chinese officials maintain that the camps Uighurs are sent to are “voluntary” and offer training, but leaked documents suggest otherwise. The documents include instructions sent to the top-ranking heads of the camps.
    According to BBC, “The instructions make it clear that the camps should be run as high-security prisons, with strict discipline, punishments and no escapes.”
    In the camps, prisoners endure religious brainwashing as they are not allowed to pray, and are forced to shave off their beards and mustaches, which are typically worn by devout Muslims. Some are forced to sit for hours on plastic stools and most do not know when they will be released from detention.
    According to BBC, the camps promote the repentance and confession of the students to understand their past activities.
    Oryn Koysybek, a Kazakh who spent months in the camps, stated to BBC News, “I spent seven days of hell there. My hands were handcuffed, my legs were tied. They threw me in a pit. I raised both my hands and looked above. At that moment they poured water. I screamed.”
    China began the camps as a way to counter terrorist ideals spreading in minority groups however many suggest Xinjiang is a product of racism.
    According to CNN, countries have begun to come out in opposition to China’s actions, alleging human rights abuses. The United States, Canada, and Japan were among 23 countries who spoke out at the UN Assembly last October.
    However, 54 countries including Muslim majority countries, have praised China’s “counter-terrorism program in Xinjiang.” Political analysts believe this comes as a result of the political and economic ties China has with many of the countries.
    Many people on social media have begun to spread the news, informing their friends and followers about the detention camps.
    One teen, Feroza Aziz, created a viral TikTok video criticizing the Chinese government. Her account was then blocked by the Chinese owned company but was re-established after many people expressed their outrage.

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    Millions of Muslims held captive