A police patrol walk in front of the Id Kah Mosque in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, March 2017. 
Thomas Peter / REUTERS

In recent months, troubling details have emerged about a sprawling network of secretive political reeducation camps in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. Both official and leaked evidence indicates that up to one million Muslims, chiefly from the Uighur minority, have been interned without legal proceedings. Ex-internees describe vast facilities that can hold nearly 6,000 persons and are heavily secured with barbed wire, surveillance systems, and armed police. Government tenders confirm these reports and provide detailed insights into the sizes and features of reeducation facilities throughout the region. Those interned are subject to intense indoctrination procedures that force them to proclaim “faith” in the Chinese Communist Party while denigrating large parts of their own religion and culture.

When asked by the international media, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it “had not heard” of this situation. Clearly, Beijing has ample reason to avoid the topic. The fact that a

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  • ADRIAN ZENZ is Lecturer for Social Research Methods at the European School of Culture and Theology in Korntal, Germany.
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