China: Authority Detaining Over 1 Million Muslims in Concentration Camps but the World Is Silent

Over one million Uighur Muslims are being held in Chinese concentration camps for arbitrary reasons as the international community largely remains silent about the ethnic minority's ongoing persecution, a believer told hundreds gathered for the first day of the U.S. State Department's Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Tuesday.

Tahrir Hamut, a prominent Uighur poet and filmmaker who was sentenced to three years in a Chinese concentration camp in the mid 1990s, was among the first persecuted believers to give their testimonies at the first-ever State Department ministerial addressing international religious freedom.
Speaking on the plight of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Region in Northwest China, Hamut wasted no time in detailing just how severe the persecution is for his community, stating that the government is using surveillance technology and forced DNA collection to exert control over the everyday lives of Uighurs.
"Since late 2016, China has turned the Uighur region into a police state — an open prison," he said through a translator.
Uighurs, a Turkish ethnic group primarily existing in Xinjiang, has been targeted by the Chinese government since 1949, Hamut explained. However, he added that the government's persecution of the ethnic group has intensified greatly since the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001 under the guise of fighting terrorism.
"The Chinese government is using advanced surveillance technologies, such as AI, voice and face recognition, mass surveillance of cell phones and forced DNA collection to control Uighurs' daily lives," Hamut said. "There are unprecedented restrictions on the religious lives of Uighurs. The government has confiscated and burned religious books and demolished mosques. Religious activities that were once legal are now illegal and an excuse for persecution."
Hamut said that the communist government's oppression of Uighurs has been based largely on their ethnicity.
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