Cemeteries in Xinjiang province in China where generations of Uighurs families have been laid to rest are being systematically destroyed by China, reports Agence France Presse.
The desecration of dozens of cemeteries in last two years in the name of urban development has left behind discarded human bones, broken tombs and activists calling this a concerted effort to eradicate the Uighurs’ identity in Xinjiang.
Official explanation ranges from urban development to the "standardisation" of old graves, but overseas Uighurs claim that it is the state crackdown to control every element of their lives and forcefully ingratiate Uighurs into Han Chinese.
By destroying all of these historical sites an attempt is being made to disconnect them their culture and history.
At present an estimated one million, mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are in re-education camps in Xinjiang in the name of combatting religious extremism and separatism and Uighurs who are free are subject to rigorous surveillance and restrictions.
Regardless of International pressure, China has remained defiant with its treatment of Uighurs. The United States has even put a curb on visas for officials over the alleged abuses and blacklisted 28 Chinese firms it accuses of rights violations.