Australian think-tank claims it found 380 detention camps in Xinjiang
Canberra: An Australian think-tank has said it seems China is expanding its network of secret detention centers in Xinjiang.
People from the Muslim community are allegedly kept in these centres in the majority numbers, media reports said.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute in its report said: "Since 2017, a government crackdown in the far-western region of China known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has seen over a million Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim minorities extrajudicially detained in a vast network of purpose-built detention facilities."
"There have also been media reports about incidents of mosques demolished or repurposed, along with other Uyghur cultural sites," the think-tank said.
"Credible data on the extent of Xinjiang’s post-2017 detention system is scarce. But researchers at ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre have now located, mapped and analysed 380 suspected detention facilities in Xinjiang, making it the most comprehensive data on Xinjiang’s detention system in the world," it said.
"This new database highlights ‘re-education’ camps, detention centres, and prisons which have been newly built or expanded since 2017, and we believe it covers most such detention facilities," the report said.
The findings of this research contradicts Chinese officials’ claims that all “re-education camp” detainees had ‘graduated’ in December 2019. It presents satellite imagery evidence that shows newly constructed detention facilities, along with growth in several existing facilities, that has occurred across 2019 and 2020, the think-tank said.
The think-tank said 30 percent of important Islamic cultural sites (sacred shrines, cemeteries and pilgrimage routes) across southern Xinjiang have been demolished since 2017, with an additional 28 percent damaged or altered in some way. This includes the complete demolition of the ancient pilgrimage town of Ordam Mazar.