Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Satellite Evidence of China's Re-education Camps

The BBC has today released an investigation into China's re-edudcation camps, which are being used to persecute Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Up to one million people in China have been detained by the government because of their religion. Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in XUAR have been arrested and imprisoned in re-education camps.

Many of the reasons for the arrest of people in XUAR have been farcical. Muslims have been arrested and imprisoned for having 'abnormal' beards, for wearing veils or for avoiding alcohol. In fact people have been arrested for any sign of religious belief or cultural affiliation.

The BBC's report China's Hidden Camps includes interviews, photographs, and expert testimony. It also includes evidence of China's re-education camps which has been gathered from satellite imagery. GMV, a multinational aerospace company, has examined 101 facilities located across Xinjiang, which could be involved in the detention of the Uighurs. By measuring the growth of these facilities over recent years on satellite imagery of XUAR and by looking for direct evidence of security fencing, watchtowers and other security features they have identified 44 of these facilities which they believe are being used as re-education camps.

China's Hidden Camps includes before and after satellite imagery of what they believe is a re-education camp at Dabancheng. Using this satellite imagery the BBC shows how the facility has grown and identifies some of the features of the camp. When the BBC attempted to visit the camp on the ground it was quickly stopped by the police and told to stop filming.

More evidence of China's re-education camps can be viewed on Amnesty International's interactive map. Amnesty International has mapped reports given to them by relatives of imprisoned Muslims in China. The map tells the stories of many Uighur citizens, most of them who live abroad, who have relatives that have been arrested and detained by the Chinese. You can view and explore the interactive map in Amnesty's Up To One Million Detained in China's Mass Re-education Drive.

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