A massive programme of forced labour has been unearthed from China’s network of internment camps for its Muslim minorities, reports The New York Times. For its part, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been using a televised campaign to depict detained members of the minority group as receiving job training and good wages.
China has already received widespread international condemnation for its forced assimilation tactics against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities from Xinjiang province. Detainees in government camps are allegedly forced to renounce their Islamic beliefs and indoctrinated in communist ideals.
Evidence from the region suggests that far from being a job training or employment programme, the CPC's scheme essentially forces Muslim minority to work in factories established at or near internment camps as part of a plan to turn them into an industrial workforce that is solely loyal to the communist party.
The founder of Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights, an organisation working to help ethnic Kazakh refugees from China, stated that interviews with detainees’ families had revealed that people at the camps were being forced to work in challenging conditions for meagre wages. Furthermore, they were given no choice as to what kind of work they wanted to do or which factory they wished to be assigned to.
Satellite imagery shows large-scale construction of factories at China’s internment camps, with a heavy security set up inclusive of guard towers and fences, further pointing to the forced nature of the work at the factories. Up to a million people are thought to have been detained at China’s internment camps in Xinjiang.
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