China’s hidden camps for Muslims covered by BBC

China is accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang.

The government denies the claims, saying people willingly attend special “vocational schools” which combat “terrorism and religious extremism”.

Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality.

A camp was located by the BBC.

They were however unable to film the camp and instead telephoned people to ask them about them what they knew about it.

“It’s a re-education school,” one hotelier told us.

“Yes, that’s a re-education school,” another shopkeeper agreed.

“There are tens of thousands of people there now. They have some problems with their thoughts.”

This giant facility would of course fit no objective definition of a school.

In Xinjiang “going to school” has come to take on a meaning all of its own.

Images from Chinese state TV show life inside the “schools”

The main purpose of these facilities, we’re told, is to combat extremism, through a mixture of legal theory, work skills and Chinese language training.


The facilities are exclusively for Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities, many of whom do not speak Chinese as their mother tongue.

The video suggests the school is operating a dress code – not a single one of the female students is wearing a headscarf.

BBC reporting adds to the evidence that the mass re-education programme is internment by any other name – the locking up of many thousands of Muslims without trial or charge, in fact with no access to any legal process at all.

China is already proclaiming it to be a success.

But history holds many troubling precedents about where such a project might end up.


The BBC’s extensive reporting can be found at: by John Studworth


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