People who were at vocational training centers in China’s far west Xinjiang have all “graduated” and are living happy lives, an official said Monday. But Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities from the region say their family members continue to be arbitrarily detained in camps and prisons.
Shohrat Zakir, Xinjiang’s Uighur governor, denounced US Congress’ approval of the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act.
“When the lives of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang were seriously threatened by terrorism, the US turned a deaf ear,” Zakir said at a press briefing.
“On the contrary, now that Xinjiang society is steadily developing and people of all ethnicities are living and working in peace, the US feels uneasy, and attacks and smears Xinjiang.”
The US legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last week, condemned the mass detentions of an estimated more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others. It also raises possible sanctions against Chinese government officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
While Chinese authorities have described the detentions as a form of vocational training, classified documents recently leaked to a consortium of news organizations revealed a deliberate strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even though they had not commit a crime.