In this sobering long read, A Million People Are Jailed at China’s Gulags. I Managed to Escape. Here’s What Really Goes on Inside, David Stavrou at Israeli newspaper Haaretz interviews Sayragul Sauytbay, a Kazakh-speaking teacher who escaped China and was granted asylum in Sweden.
Sauytbay claims to have spent nine months in a Chinese ‘re-education camp’ where ethnic and religious minorities, notably the Uyghur population of the Xinjiang region, are routinely imprisoned.
Though their existence was initially denied, since images of the camps were released, Chinese officials have now acknowledged the construction of ‘vocational re-education centres’ they claim are needed in order to address radicalism and poverty.
According to Sauytbay, though, the reality of these centres is violent abuse, starvation, torture, gang rape and medical experimentation conducted under pervasive surveillance cameras:
This all takes place behind a media blackout:
Meanwhile, the economic power China is beginning to flex via its Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative, notably in Muslim countries, has perhaps contributed to the worldwide absence of protest from Muslim nations worldwide about the horrors being perpetrated against their co-religionists in Xinjiang:
Watching ever more polarised social media tribes in the UK quarrel about whether or not it is reasonable to call Boris Johnson a fascist, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that those concerned about authoritarianism may be looking in the wrong direction.