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Several hundred Muslim Uighurs living in Turkey protest against oppression by the Chinese government in far-western Xinjiang province, in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

China’s Uighur Crackdown Is Turning Xinjiang Into a Police State

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018

In her first speech since assuming her new post, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet criticized China this week for forcibly detaining more than a million Muslim Uighur minorities in a secretive network of so-called re-education camps. Her remarks were based on findings from a U.N. panel released last month. The panel cited “credible reports” that the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwestern China had been transformed into “something that resembles a massive internment camp.” Ever resistant to such criticism, Beijing pushed back on Bachelet’s remarks and demanded that she “respect China’s sovereignty.” In an email interview, Zubayra Shamseden, Chinese outreach coordinator for the Uighur Human Rights Project, discusses the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uighurs.

World Politics Review: What is the scale and scope of the current crackdown on Uighurs in China, and what was the triggering event or justification for it? ...

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