China has expanded its network of detention centers for its Uyghur minority despite insisting that the system of “re-education” was reduced, according to a new report.
According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, there are 380 suspicious installations in the Xinjiang region, 40% more than previous estimates.
China says its goal is to fight poverty and religious extremism in Xinjiang.
But the United States compared the centers to concentration camps.
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Rights groups say at least one million people have been incarcerated in the system.
What does the report say?
The report identifies 100 more detention sites than previous investigations have shown, based on analysis of satellite images, eyewitness interviews, media reports and official documents.
More than 60 detention sites were worked between July 2019 and July 2020, while 14 camps are still under construction, according to the report.
About half of the new centers are higher-security institutions, which might suggest a shift to prison-type institutions, report author Nathan Ruser said.
“The results of this research contradict claims by Chinese authorities that all ‘trainees’ from so-called vocational training centers had’ graduated ‘at the end of 2019,’ he said.
“Instead, the available evidence suggests that many extrajudicial detainees in Xinjiang’s vast ‘re-education’ network are now officially charged and locked up in higher security facilities, including newly built or expanded prisons, or sent to prison. fortified factory complexes for forced labor. ”
However, around 70 camps saw the removal of fences and perimeter walls, the report adds.
Chinese state-controlled newspaper Global Times has since reported that ASPI contributors Clive Hamilton and Alex Joske have been banned from entering the country.
Beijing has faced international condemnation for its network of detention centers that mainly house Muslim minorities.
The United States imposed sanctions on Chinese politicians who were allegedly involved and earlier this month blocked some exports that it said had been carried out with “forced labor.”
The Chinese government said last week that “vocational training” increased job opportunities and alleviated poverty in Xinjiang.