China Has Almost 400 Internment Camps in Xinjiang

Satellite imaging shows China has built almost 400 internment camps for “re-education” in the Xinjiang region, which hold hundreds of Uighur Muslims and ethnic Kazakhs, the Independent reports.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that China is currently constructing 14 camps in the region, despite the government claiming that the “re-education” program was coming to a close. The think tank’s Xinjiang Data Project notes that 380 detention centers have been identified in the region since 2017, which could show a “shift in usage from lower-security, ‘re-education centres’ towards higher-security prison-style facilities.”

“The evidence in this database shows that despite Chinese officials’ claims about detainees graduating from the camps, significant investment in the construction of new detention facilities has continued throughout 2019 and 2020,” said ASPI researcher Nathan Ruser.

“At least 60 facilities have seen new construction in the months leading up to and since that claim, and 14 facilities remain under construction, according to the latest satellite imagery available.”

One 60-acre internment camp located in Kashgar was completed in January, and new buildings were added to the largest camp in the region last year. Although about 70 camps do show signs of having their fencing or perimeter walls removed, nine in 10 of the “desecuritised” locations were already low-security.

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