A month after the Chinese authorities had denied the existence of re-education centres for religious extremists, China's far-western Xinjiang region appears to have officially legalised the same, reports CNN.
The Xinjiang government is reported to have amended a local law to provide vocational education training centres to institutionalise anti-extremist ideological education.
According to the amended law, "institutions such as vocational skill education training centres should carry out trainings on the common national language, laws and regulations, and vocational skills, and carry out anti-extremist ideological education, and psychological and behavioural correction to promote thought transformation of trainees, and help them return to the society and family."
Beijing has strictly tightened its hold over the remote region following a series of violent attacks that the government alleged Uyghur Muslim separatists are trying to establish an independent state.
The immediate precedent to the announcement was when the local leaders in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, announced the beginning of an anti-halal campaign.
As per the new law, all officials including the police must make a declaration that they are "loyal Communist Party members" and "don't subscribe to any religious belief."
They should only have allegiance to "Marxism and Leninism," and they must agree to "fight against 'pan-halalisation' thoroughly," the new oath said.
China had earlier heavily cracked down on elements of the Muslim faith in Xinjiang. In 2017, authorities first banned a wide range of activities, including wearing face coverings and having a long beard.
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