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China claims it released majority of Muslim detainees

Shohrat Zakir at a news conference Wednesday Associated Press/Photo by Andy Wong

China claims it released majority of Muslim detainees

Activists and rights groups question whether China has released most of the Uighur and other Muslim minorities held in so-called reeducation camps in the Xinjiang region. Shohrat Zakir, the region’s Uighur governor, defended the centers Wednesday as a “pioneering” approach to counterterrorism. “Most of the graduates from the vocational training centers have been reintegrated into society,” he said. “More than 90 percent of the graduates have found satisfactory jobs with good incomes.” The Germany-based World Uyghur Congress called on the international community to remain skeptical, saying the country has a “history of false claims about the internment camp system.”

How many Muslim minorities are affected? The Chinese government is holding as many as 1 million minority Uighur Muslims and other Turkic Muslims in camps in the northwest region. China initially denied the existence of the camps, claiming it sent criminals guilty of minor offenses to “vocational education and employment training centers.”

Dig deeper: Read WORLD Magazine reporter June Cheng’s feature about China’s long-running effort to hide the truth about the camps.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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