In mid-August the UN’s Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that up to 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China were imprisoned in massive internment camps.
Subsequent reporting in places like the Wall Street Journal offered confirmation that Uighurs were being rounded up, seemingly at random, and sent to “re-education” centers where they are forced to chant communist party slogans, study the speeches of Xi Jinping and also subjected to torture.
Uighurs are a religious and linguistic minority in China. The majority practice a form of sunni Islam and most live in Xinjiang province in the far northwest of China. They have been the subject of discrimination for decades, but abuses against this community seem to be accelerating.
On the line with me to discuss this situation is Sophie Richardson, the China Director for Human Rights Watch. She explains the methods by which the Chinese government is repressing this community, including mass internment at these so-called re-education centers. We also discuss the history of China’s repression of ethnic minorities, including against Tibetans; and finally, we discuss what the rest of the world can do to help protect vulnerable Uighurs.