ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Since last spring, Chinese authorities in the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang have ensnared tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of Muslim Chinese — and even foreign citizens — in mass internment camps.
This detention campaign has swept across Xinjiang in what a U.S. commission on China last month said is “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”
Omir Bekali, a Kazakh Muslim, and other former detainees told the AP how they had to disavow their Islamic beliefs, criticize themselves and their loved ones and give thanks to the ruling Communist Party.
Chinese officials have said that ideological changes are needed to fight separatism and Islamic extremism. Radical Muslim Uighurs have killed hundreds in recent years, and China considers the restive region a threat to peace.