Millions of Uyghur Muslims Detained in China

Today the spotlight is being shone on China. Despite the secretive nature of the nation, a somewhat frightening story has emerged which suggests that China is detaining over a million Uyghur (Uighur) Muslims in camps in the Xinjiang region.

Who are the Uyghur?

The Uyghur are a large group of ethnic Turkic people of Muslim religion, millions in their numbers, who reside in the North Western Xinjiang region of China. Despite being ruled by China, they are considered more central asian in their culture and ethnicity and bare more similarities with their neighbours Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan than with China.

The Xinjiang region have at times had a relative amount of independence from China and brief moments of autonomy. However in 1949 the Chinese Communist Party took back control of the region and have kept an overly watchful eye on it ever since. The Uyghur culture and integrity have been gradually diminished from this point on. There have been increasing crackdowns from the government and a mass influx of Han Chinese as authorities promote the ‘up and coming’ area in a suspected attempt to make the Uyghur a minority.

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North West region of Xinjiang – Photo from New Internationalist

Background of the conflict Read More »