Uyghurs, Legal Experts Dismiss Chinese Legal Move to Justify Re-education Camps

A move this week by China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) to amend a 2017 counterterrorism law to provide a legal justification for detaining as many as a million Uyghurs in political re-education camps was dismissed on Thursday as misleading and a violation of China’s constitution.

On Tuesday, the XUAR government unveiled new clauses added to an anti-extremism law put into effect in March 2017 to cover what China calls vocational training centers for Uyghurs—but which former guards and inmates describe as detention camps now estimated to hold 10 percent of all Uyghurs.

“Governments above the county level can set up education and transformation organizations and supervising departments such as vocational training centers, to educate and transform people who have been influenced by extremism,” Reuters news agency quoted one of the new clauses as saying.

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