China 'legalises' Muslim prison camps in Xinjiang region

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Train travel to China's heavily restricted Xinjiang province is being suspended indefinitely amid reports Muslim detainees are being transferred to prisons in far-flung provinces, fuelling speculation Beijing is attempting to disperse its mass political re-education program to obscure it from worldwide view.

Over the years, Xinjiang has been transformed into a vast security state, packed with police stations, street cameras, and security checkpoints at which electronic identity cards are scanned.

Ethnic Uyghur and former political prisoner Rebiya Kadeer (standing second from right), who fled China in 2005 after serving six years in prison, was formally recognized when the Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2018 Annual Report today (Oct. 10).

Beijing previously denied that such centers even existed, claiming that it only set up vocational training centers to help those affected by religious extremism.

In the wake of reports that up to 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims are being detained in secretive "re-education camps" in the far-western region of Xinjiang, China has made some significant additions to its anti-extremism regulations, apparently aimed at giving the camps a basis under the law.

The camps are part of a broader attack on Islamic extremism in Xinjiang.

The congressional measure calls for the creation of a State Department post to coordinate financial and diplomatic responses, a database for US residents to provide details about missing family members and an expedited asylum process for the affected minority groups.

Noted the USA report's summary, 'It is vital that our foreign policy prioritizes the promotion of universal human rights'.

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The congressional commission also warned in an annual report on October 10 of the "long arm" of an "ascendant and increasingly aggressive" China. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and co-chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J. It says the ruling party is "trying to redefine" human rights and "basic human dignity".

China has legalised internment camps believed to be holding hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims in the first official recognition of the centres.

The European Union expressed similar concern about Xinjiang last week.

Mogherini called on all countries to carefully consider asylum requests.

Detainees were ordered to chant "Thank the Party!"

"The amended PRC "Population and Family Planning Law" and provincial-level regulations continued to limit couples' freedom to build their families as they see fit and include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children", the report states.

"This strategy seems to be one of cultural and political re-engineering of the entire population", he said.

These efforts "have merit on their own accord, and they are also inextricably linked to vital US national interests, including regional stability in the Indo-Pacific, the future of young and emerging democracies in our hemisphere, and the strength of our own civic institutions domestically".

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