Report of a former prisoner

Human rights activists and politicians demand investigations into Chinese reeducation camps in Xinjiang (Press Release)

Omer Bekali was kept detained in a Chinese reeducation camp in the province of Xinjiang (East Turkestan) for eight months.

Omer Bekali was kept detained in a Chinese reeducation camp in the province of Xinjiang (East Turkestan) for eight months. In the scope of a joint press conference of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and the World Congress of the Uyghurs (WUC) in Berlin, he reported on the conditions in the camps and on the enormous pressure on the prisoners. Representatives of both organizations demanded the international community to initiate independent investigations of the camps.

Currently, more than one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz people are kept being detained in reeducation camps in the Chinese province of Xinjiang (East Turkistan). Following massive international pressure, the government of the People's Republic of China was forced to admit the existence of such camps – yet stating that they are merely institutions of vocational training. "The claim that these are institutions of vocational training is completely implausible," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's director. "Today, we were given first-hand information about the true purpose of the camps: It's all about intimidation and indoctrination."

Dolkun Isa, President of the World Congress of Uyghurs, demanded the detainees to be released immediately. "The international community has been watching violent oppression of Muslims in Xinjiang for years. Now, it must finally put pressure on the government in Beijing to stop these inhumane activities."

Margarete Bause, spokeswoman for human rights and humanitarian aid for the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag, called on the German Federal Government to advocate for an independent fact-finding mission in Xinjiang and to take a proactive approach to cut down on systematic oppression. "The Federal Government must stop putting economic interests above human rights. As long as people are arrested in China, as long as there is unlimited detainment without trials, indoctrination, and even torture, the issue must be placed at the top of the international agenda.

Various human rights organizations have long been calling for independent investigations into what is going on in Xinjiang. The reeducation camps will also be discussed at several events in the scope of the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Headerbild: Meyer/GfbV (2019)