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China’s Re-education Camps in Xinjiang - Event Report

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

Camp in Xinjiang

On the 28th of May, the London School of Economics held an event discussing the Chinese State’s internment of its Uyghur minority, since 2014. The talk was hosted by Dr. Hans Steinmüller, joined by Dr. Rachel Harris (specialist in Uyghur religion and culture; SOAS), Jude Howell (expert on authoritarianism; LSE), and Dr. Rian Thum (historian on Xinjian; University of Nottingham).

The Uyghurs are an ethnic group that have resided in what is formally known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Their residence predates the People’s Republic of China by thousands of years, and as such are one of the nation’s fifty-five officially-recognised ethnic minorities, with 10 million Uyghurs in China in total. Since 2009, the region’s Islamic practices have been a source of friction with the Communist Party’s administration, and the state’s repressive actions as of the last half-decade have escalated to the internment, torture, and indoctrination of the Uyghur people, as well as the “re-education” or “transformation” of Uyghur children.

In this talk, the panellists review the harm felt among the Uyghur communities, what the Chinese government considers as evidence of “extremism”, their evolution and justification of policing by both peers and authorities, and finally international repercussions of this crisis. The talk will be available in podcast–form here.

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