China legalizes 'reeducation camps' for Muslim Uighurs

Kyodo News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 10:54 PM

A Uighur man looks on as a truck carrying paramilitary policemen travel along a street during an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China. Reuters/File Photo

China's far-western Xinjiang region has authorized the setting up of vocational training camps for Muslim Uighurs to crack down on people influenced by extremism, an official said Thursday.

The move is likely to further raise international concerns over human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region where many Uighurs, who oppose growing state surveillance, have been detained under the "reeducation" campaign.

Legislation to authorize establishment of the camps came into effect on Tuesday.

It is a revision of "de-radicalization regulations" implemented in April last year that codified efforts to "contain and eradicate extremism," according to state-run media reports at the time.

Those regulations prohibit "abnormal" beards, the wearing of veils in public places, and the refusal to watch state television, among other behaviors, while also banning the use of some Islamic names when naming children and setting punishments for the teaching of religion to children.

In the autonomous region, tensions have increased between Chinese authorities and the local Muslim population.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government refused to renew a long-term visa for a foreign reporter in Beijing against the backdrop of her critical reporting on the troubled region, a source close to the matter said.