Nursimangul Abdurashid and Mihrigul Tursun, two Uighur women, are risking their lives to share harrowing accounts of discrimination, death and torture suffered by the Uighur community in China.
In the province of Xinjiang in northwestern China, it’s been reported that at least one million Uighurs are detained in "re-education" camps — where Chinese authorities have committed human rights abuses against ethnic Uighur Muslims.
Despite making up less than 2% of the national population, Xinjiang’s prison population grew eightfold from 2016 to 2017, making up 21% of all arrests in China. Between 2017 to 2019, more than 80,000 Uighurs were forced to work in factories across China for little to no pay. Many argue that what the Uighurs are enduring is not simply a violation of human rights or even ethnic cleansing, but meets the United Nations definition of genocide.
But who are the Uighurs? And what actually happens in these re-education camps? In this episode, we answer these questions and unpack the complex history of the Xinjiang region. We discuss cultural intolerance and how an anti-Islamic rhetoric after 9/11 led to the Chinese government’s detention of ethnic Uighur Muslims.
Featuring policy and advocacy insights from experts: Nury Turkel, Commissioner of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and James A Millward, Professor of Inter-Societal History at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
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