Those who believed China’s reeducation of the Uighur people had come to a close, as the Chinese government suggested, were mistaken. New satellite images and reports from a variety of humanitarian groups focused on the Uighur situation show official Chinese oppression of the Uighur people has not only continued but has also increased.
China has built or added to at least 60 prison camps in the last year. Previously China decommissioned around 70 camps and allowed western reporters to see proof that the reeducation of the Uighurs was complete, and they were no longer being held by the government. Now it appears the Uighurs were only moved to new locations. Many of the Uighur people have disappeared into higher security prisons while others have disappeared completely.
In 2017 and 2018 China denied the existence of the camps and the crackdown on the Uighurs. Satellite images at that time proved the government’s denials as false. The United Nations estimated that as many as 1 million Uighur people had been incarcerated. China, recognizing the failed effort for denials, moved to explain these steps as necessary to combat terrorism. Human rights advocates have described Chinese efforts against the Uighurs as cultural genocide.
Uighur prisoners are forced to eat and drink items that are against their religion within the prisons. Muslims are forced to renounce their faith. Women are forcibly sterilized. There have also been reports of China using the Uighur for organ harvesting.