China has prevented "great tragedy" in Xinjiang, state-run paper says

China is holding Uyghur Muslims in ‘political indoctrination camps’ says UN panel

Chinese officials have said tightened security measures and limits on the religious practices of Uighurs, who are mostly Sunni Muslim, are aimed at trying to prevent violent, anti-state episodes in Uighur areas, which they have attributed to separatism, terrorism and religious extremism.

China insisted Monday there is no "arbitrary detention" and there are no "re-education centers" in its western Xinjiang region, rejecting concerns raised by a United Nations human rights committee that more than one million ethnic Uighurs may be being held in camps.

United Nations human rights experts have expressed alarm over what they said were many credible reports that China had detained one million or more ethnic Uighurs in the western region of Xinjiang and forced as many as two million to submit to re-education and indoctrination.

Global Times said the intense regulations in the region were merely "a phase that Xinjiang has to go through in rebuilding peace and prosperity".

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Attributing the avoidance of a "great tragedy" to "powerful Chinese law and the strong ruling power of the Communist Party of China", it says that "there should be no room for destructive Western public opinions".

While the tabloid noted that police posts "can be seen everywhere" in Xinjiang, it did not mention the camps. "Maintaining peace and stability in the region is the core interest of people both in Xinjiang and all of China", it states.

McDougall said there were estimates that more than a million people "are being held in so-called counter-extremism centers and another 2 million have been forced into so-called re-education camps for political and cultural indoctrination".

In February, Human Rights Watch said that China is violating privacy rights and enabling officials to arbitrarily detain residents: "People in Xinjiang can't resist or challenge the increasingly intrusive scrutiny of their daily lives because most don't even know about this "black box" program or how it works", Maya Wang, senior China researcher, said.

He said "the argument that a million Uighurs are detained in re-education centres is completely untrue".

"We must hold onto our belief that keeping turmoil away from Xinjiang is the greatest human right", the article said.

An ethnic Uighur looks at the old town in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, March 23, 2017.

Last year, 21% of all arrests in China were in Xinjiang, a territory that accounts for about 1.5% of the population, according to the advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

"When the same evil influence was spreading in Xinjiang, it was decisively curbed".

"There is no warrant, there is no crime, there is no calling a lawyer, there is no calling your family, there is no knowing when you are going to get out, there is no knowing what you have been charged with", she said.

She expressed her concerns over reports that Beijing had "turned the Uygur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp".

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