China’s Uyghur Genocide: A Historical Perspective

Despite the establishment of the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” in practice, Uyghurs’ demands for political, cultural, and religious freedom, justice, and equal civil rights have been labeled as “pan-Turkism,” “pan-Islamism,” and “ethnic separatism” and met with ruthless crackdowns.

Despite the establishment of the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” in practice, Uyghurs’ demands for political, cultural, and religious freedom, justice, and equal civil rights have been labeled as “pan-Turkism,” “pan-Islamism,” and “ethnic separatism” and met with ruthless crackdowns.

This article was originally published on Aziz Isa Elkun’s official website here, and was republished on TMV with the author’s permission.

Since 2014, the Chinese government has started building a massive network of internment camps or “modern high-tech surveillance prisons” across the Uyghur Autonomous Region, and media reported that some of the camps could host up to 10 thousand detainees [1].

According to various estimated sources, up to three million Uyghurs and other Turkic people of Chinese citizens were kept illegally in these camps, which was claimed by Chinese authorities as “Vocational Education Training Centres” with Chinese characteristics. The existence of such internment camps was first revealed by the Western academics, media, and human rights organizations in early spring 2017.

There is no dispute about the urgency of the “Uyghur crisis” today in China. It’s arguably one of the most severe crimes that a country has been openly committing – a kind of slow-motion “genocide” against a specific ethnicity on the most massive scale since the Second World War.

But when we recall the region’s brutal old and present history, the Uyghur crisis is not a new crisis but an old unsolved one that only comes to the world’s attention at the beginning of this digital surveillance century. But it has a long history that goes back to when China started building its defense wall, the “Great Wall of China.”

We have to remember the region’s war-torn unfortunate history while connecting the current tragical events to the past. We have to talk about the historical perspective of the ongoing Uyghur Genocide. We cannot forget scars left from the “Great game” in Central Asia in the 19th century played by British, Russian Manchu – Chinese empires.

Unfortunately, the Uyghurs’ independence aspiration was not in the interest of these empires. This game ended in October 1949, and the Republic of East Turkistan was fully occupied by the newly established Communist China with the direct military support of Stalin’s Soviet Union.

So-called Chinese “borderland” and walls and wars

In the two millenniums of history, the contemporary North and Western China and it’s beyond territory was a battleground of a power struggle between all nomadic “Northern people,” including Huns, Turks, Uyghurs, Mongols, and Manchus.

Because of the natural geopolitical and ethnic orientations of the region, throughout history, there were countless wars between the steppe people and the Middle Kingdom of the Han Chinese plain. But the war was all about gaining control, occupying land, and obtaining natural resources, along with stocking of nationalism, or believing one race or culture is superior to others.

The primary source of conflict in today’s world is “the nationalism is about people, land, and the relationship between them. A nationalistic project seeks to define a special relationship between a unique people and a particular piece of the earth’s land” (A. Millward) [2].

China was commonly known to the outside world by its’ pre-historic “Great Wall,” which is more than 21,000 km long. The Chinese emperor Qin Sichuan began to build this wall in 221BC.

So, what was the purpose of building such a long wall before BC? The reason, according to Sima Qian, a famous Chinese historian, was to prevent Northern barbarian Huns (Xiongnu – 匈奴 – literal translation from Chinese: Violent slave) from moving in closer.

On 10th March 2017, Xinhua reported that the Chinese modern emperor Xi Jinping ordered the building of a “great wall of iron” around China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to safeguard national unity, ethnic solidarity, and social stability.

From Kashgaria to Xinjiang – Chinese “New Territory”

The last two centuries of history in the region have seen many brutal events since the Manchu occupation in the 1760s. Often, uprisings and wars were followed by mass revenge killings, and these massacres were mostly racially motivated.

For example, Kuropatkin’s book “Kashgaria”, published in 1882, describes the Manchu general Zuo Zongtang’s re-conquest of “Kashgaria” (East Turkistan) in the 1870s. He tells how after Emir Yaqub Beg was defeated, up to one million people were massacred [3].

Re-conquering and re-designing of Uyghurs and their homeland: From Republic of East Turkistan Republic to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

On 12 November 1944, Uyghurs and other Turkic people in Ghulja established the “Republic of East Turkistan” for the second time. This republic had initially received military support from the Soviet Union in the early years during the war to bring the Chinese nationalists to the negotiation table with Moscow. However, due to the fast-changing political situation and civil war in China soon after the Second World war, Stalin has begun to support Mao Zedong and forced Uyghurs to be a part of China.

The president of East Turkistan Republic, Akhmetjan Qasim, and other dozen leaders were killed in a murky “plane crash” while they were on the Soviet plane heading to Beijing to negotiate with Mao Zedong end of August 1949.

Soon after the “plane crash”, When Wang Zhen, a nationalist general of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, was sent by Mao Zedong to re-occupy East Turkistan. In October 1949, with direct military support by Stalin’s Soviet Union, despite various forms of resistance by the Uyghur elites and intellectuals and former soldiers of the Republic of East Turkistan, all these resistances were brutally suppressed. During these years, Wang Zhen’s army killed hundreds and thousands of Uyghurs and other Turkic people in East Turkistan in the name of land reforming, assisting, and cleaning the remaining Chinese Nationalist army.

After Beijing rejected Uyghur politicians, intellectuals demanded to establish “The Republic of Uyghuristan,” similar to Soviet Central Asia republics as part of China, all of them were gradually arrested or killed; some of them were able to escape to the Soviet Union. On 1st October 1955, the Beijing Central government announced establishing the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

It is 72 years since the People’s Republic of China re-occupied and re-colonized East Turkistan. Despite the establishment of the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” in practice, Uyghurs’ demands for political, cultural, and religious freedom, justice, and equal civil rights have been labeled as “pan-Turkism,” “pan-Islamism,” and “ethnic separatism” and met with ruthless crackdowns. Many of China’s so-called minority people’s laws and regulations were written in the Chinese constitution, including “regional autonomy for ethnic minorities,” which were never respected nor implemented.

Since then, the Uyghurs have experienced various forms of oppression under the regime. China has previously used measures of forced assimilation similar to those we see today. During the Cultural Revolution, they attacked Uyghur culture and religion, mosques were destroyed, Korans burned, and many people imprisoned.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and re-born hope of re-establishing an independent Uyghur homeland in the 1990s

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, a realm of hope of re-establishing an independent Uyghur homeland was re-born.

Uyghurs have witnessed their ethnic kin people like Uzbek, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz people achieve independence overnight. Therefore aspirations for independence grew more assertive, and systematic resistance against the Chinese rule developed among the Uyghurs.

Ideological turning point: The re-writing of Uyghur history and rise of Uyghur nationalism

Before the end of the 1980s liberalization of academic freedom and tolerance of ethnic minority policy in China, a well-known Uyghur historian and poet, Turghun Almas, wrote a book about Uyghur history, titled “Uyghurlar” (The Uyghurs). It was published in Urumchi in 1989. It was the first book in kind during the Chinese rule since 1949. At that time, after this book was published, it hugely influenced the Uyghur society, and the book immediately became very popular among the Uyghurs.

This book presented Soviet historiography during the Sino-Soviet split, that advanced the thesis that the Uyghurs are the historical owners of Xinjiang and should have an independent state. It was also one of the first books to publicize the term East Turkestan, which suggests a kinship to a “West Turkestan” in the independent Central Asian states [4].

In contrast to the official Chinese version of Xinjiang history, which states that the region was an integral part of China since the Han dynasty, the book takes the Uyghur nationalist view, saying many “Uyghur” states throughout history were independent of or even dominant over China.

Turguhn Almas used strong evidence and references from both Chinese and Soviet sources to prove theories various theories, including that the Tarim mummies indicate that the Uyghurs were “older than Chinese civilization itself” and that the Uyghurs invented the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing. It concluded, “If the Jews could reclaim their homeland after 3,000 years, the Uyghurs should be able to reclaim their homeland after 3,000 to 6,000 years” [5].

Chinese battle for claiming “Xinjiang” as an inseparable part of China

In response to the Turghun Almas’s “Uyghurlar” book’s growing popularity among Uyghurs, in February 1991, the Xinjiang Communist Party of China Propaganda Department and the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences jointly organized an academic conference to discuss the historical claims in Uyghurlar, as well as those in two of Almas’s other books [6]. The book was banned, and Almas was placed under “virtual house arrest” in Urumchi.

Soon after ending the criticizing of Turghun Almas’s book campaign, the Xinjiang government hastily published “Xinjiang local history” (新疆地方史) book for schools and university students for critical study as part of the curriculum. Astonishingly, in the school curriculum, there were no history book teachings about Uyghurs or the region’s history, except in learning all Chinese dynasties.

From “strike hard” to against the “spilitism” and “terrorism”

China introduced a series of “strike hard” campaigns designed to counter Uyghur independence movements, but Uyghurs never stopped demanding their legitimate civil rights within China.

China has tried to legitimize its suppression of Uyghurs’ rights in various ways. After the September 11 terror incident in the US, China used the “war on terror” as a reason for its oppression of the Uyghurs.

As an example of Chinese authorities’ relentless policies against the Uyghurs, we can point out two brutal responses to peaceful protests in the region over the last two decades.

From Ghulja Massacres to Urumchi Massacres

“The 5th February Ghulja Massacre” in 1997 was one of the most serious of China’s atrocities in the region. Uyghur meshrep cultural activities that aimed to tackle various social problems in Uyghur society gained momentum among Uyghur youth in Ghulja since 1995.

Many of the Uyghur youths who attended the meshrep were arrested, Uyghurs demonstrated against their arrest, and the Chinese army opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators; an unknown number of people were killed. The army also used water cannons against the crowd in the cold winter, when the temperature in Ghulja was below minus 15 degrees, and many demonstrators suffered severe frostbite. Jay Dautcher has written an excellent book about the Ghulja meshrep and this massacre [7].

Video clip: The 5th February Ghulja Massacre” was reported by UK Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow in 1997, London.

On 5th July 2009, vicious ethnic clashes occurred in the region’s capital of Urumchi following police opening fire on another peaceful demonstration against the killing of Uyghur migrant workers in Shaoguan, southern China. Soon after this incident, the Chinese government effectively suppressed Uyghurs’ demands for justice for Shaoguan killings [8].

After the “5th July” violence, thousands of Han Chinese held protests on the streets of Urumchi. They marched armed with batons and machetes, and shouted “We miss Wang Zhen! Bring another Wang Zhen to Xinjiang!” [9]

Video clip: Urumchi 7th July 2009. Reported from Urumchi by Lindsey Hilsum for Channel4 on 7th July 2009

Tom Cliff wrote for the “Made in China” Journal in 2018 [10]:

As head of the military government in Xinjiang from 1950 to 1952, Wang Zhen had sized up the Uyghurs as ‘a troublemaking minority’ and wrote to Mao Zedong advocating that they be ‘thoroughly wiped out’ to avoid any future problems. Even Mao felt that this was a little extreme – or at least premature – so he redeployed Wang: Now it seems that Mao’s successor, Xi Jinping, has found his Wang Zhen.”

After 2009, Uyghur and Han residents in the region’s cities were self-consciously divided and stayed far away from each other, and mutual hate and suspicion increased more significantly. The central government regarded this new crisis as a challenge to the Chinese dream of becoming the world’s number one economic and political power. The “Xinjiang work” conference officially took up apartheid policies toward Uyghurs.

When we look at the region’s current situation and compare its 200 years of war-torn history, all these events are closely related. They reflect patterns of violence and suppression, followed by assimilation and re-engineering of new generations to align them with Chinese interests and way of life.

World’s largest open prison: Build police stations, then concentration camps

After the “Xinjiang work” conference, the political situation of the Uyghurs has become much worse under Xi Jinping. In 2016, he brought Chen Quanguo from Tibet to Xinjiang and gave him sweeping powers to suppress Uyghur resistance and force assimilation by any means. These policies started in 2016 in the guise of an “anti-terror campaign,” which aimed to eradicate Uyghur ethnic, cultural, and religious identity and existence, banning Uyghur language schools and closing down mosques.

To eradicate any Uyghur resistance, Chen Quanguo began to build one police station every 100 meters, just as he did in Tibet before 2016. From 2017, Chen Quanguo started building large-scale “Concentration Camps.”

ABC News agency reported on 31 Oct 2018 [11]:

Despite the massive scale of the camps examined in this project, it’s likely they make up just a fraction of the detention network in Xinjiang. Estimates of camp numbers range anywhere between 181 to upwards of 1,200.”

There are reports of many deaths coming out from the camps. We have heard many witness statements by former camp residents like Ömer Békali [12], and these reveal serious atrocities towards camp inmates.

Now it is estimated that between one to three million innocent Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslims, including writers, academics, teachers, and farmers, are kept in these camps. After New Year 2018, Uyghurs in East Turkistan have been forbidden to make or receive phone calls from their relatives abroad. All communication for the Uyghurs was cut off [13].

Death tolls and sexual abuse of women in the concentration camps are alarming

Mihrigul Tursun, an Uyghur camp survivor, arrived in the USA in September 2018. She gave testimony at a US Congressional Commission in November 2018. She said [14]:

Unfortunately, I witnessed nine deaths in my cell of 68 people in those three months alone. If my small cell, cell number 210, in a small county, experienced 9 deaths in 3 months, I cannot imagine how many deaths there must be all over my country.”

This suggests more than 10% of the detainees in her cell died within a short 3-month period. If this kind of death rate is consistent throughout the camps, then the total number of deaths – among the more than a million detainees – is a secret horror of the Chinese secret camps, which we are still waiting to uncover.

Like myself, there are many sad and tragic stories among the Uyghur diaspora community. In London, there are a few hundred Uyghur community members, and they are mostly live in North London. Last month, I received a text message from a friend, it said: “We would like to invite you to come to our house for the funeral. We have received information about my brother’s death. He was ill in the camp and died two weeks later after release” [15].

Video clip: Uyghur activist says: ‘We can call this a genocide’ – presented by Jon Snow, Channel 4, about the ongoing Uyghur genocide. We spoke to Aziz Isa Elkun, a London-based Uyghur academic, and activist. On 1st October 2020

There were serious allegations about the sexual abuses of Uyghur and other Turkic women in the internment camps as well.

On 3rd February 2021, the BBC reported shocking details of sexual abuse. It said, “Women in China’s ‘re-education’ camps for Uighurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured.”

The BBC interviewed a former camp survivor Tursunay Ziawudun; she said [16]:

Perhaps this is the most unforgettable scar on me forever, I don’t even want these words to spill from my mouth.”

After the BBC’s news about the horror of sexual abuses that Uyghur women suffered in the Chinese internment camps, some of the UK politicians responded with the most vigorous terms, including the shadow Foreign Office minister Stephen Kinnock – he said the reports were [17]:

a scar on the conscience of the world.”

Ms Nus Ghani, MP from the Conservative Party, pressured the Foreign Office to make a statement. She spoke at the parliament in the evening on 4th February and demanded the Government take immediate action to save the Uyghurs’ lives from the Chinese genocide.

She published an article on the Conservative Home. She is suggesting an amendment to the Trade Bill; stating [18]:

“The UK position has always been that ‘genocide is a judicial matter’ – as stated once again by the Prime Minister last week in the Commons. And the court we defer to is the International Criminal Court (ICC). But everybody knows, including Government ministers, that the ICC is in a state of frozen paralysis – held hostage by Russia and China’s veto at the United Nations. The UN is simply incapable of holding genocidal states to account. So I am suggesting an amendment to the Trade Bill that brings to an end this incoherence, and allows a UK court to play a role in this decision instead, given the ICC’s inability to. And I’m delighted that the Lords has listened to concerns raised by MPs on all sides of the House, and has returned us a New Genocide Amendment which we will be debating next week.”

China’s genocide revealed in documents persuaded the West, and what’s next?

Many Western media outlets have reported on the concentration camps and national governments and the UN have raised concerns. But at UN sessions, Chinese government officials have denied the existence of such camps in the Uyghur region.

Again, China describes these prisons as “re-education” or “vocational training” centres, until 16th November 2019, when The New York Times published a 403-page document [19]. The leak of hundreds of pages of documents detailed a crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslim populations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) ordered by President Xi Jinping has sparked calls for global action to hold Beijing accountable for the abuses.

France even called for UN access to Chinese detention camps in Xinjiang, but despite these calls, there was no single country except the US that took state-level condemnations and actions that challenged China’s genocide of the Uyghur people.

The US House of Representatives has passed The Uighur Human Rights Policy Act 2019. Just a day before the Trump administration ends its term, on January 19, 2021, the Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, announced that the Department of State had determined that “genocide and crimes against humanity” had been perpetrated by China against the Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang [20].

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said he agrees with the finding of the Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo [21].

In Great Britain, after prolonged pressure to the government by NGO organizations and some MPs, on 12 January 2021, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs exports will be monitored to ensure goods are not being used in camps where Uyghurs are among minorities being held [22].

There have been some positive steps taken by UK politicians recently concerning the Uyghur genocide. Despite this, it was not passed on the first voting at the PUK parliament to change the genocide amendment trade bill to allow UK courts to judge whether China is committing genocide on Uyghurs. After a long campaign and many debates at the parliament, on 2 February 2021, it was voted for a second time to amend the trade bill and take a tougher stance on China’s human rights record – to overlook the UK courts’ role in genocide rulings and give British courts a role in determining whether a country is committing genocide.

Any such judicial determination would require the UK to review any bilateral trade agreement with Beijing because of its abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and other regimes accused of genocide [23].


I agree with Bovingdon’s argument on the Uyghur crisis’ historical perspective. It argues that the episodes of unrest in Xinjiang have not been merely contemporary manifestations of an enduring culture of violence. Nor have they been the product of foreign intrigues. Instead, while the region’s conflict has several causes, the system of “regional autonomy” operating in Xinjiang must be seen as a principal source of the unrest.

Instead of resolving a longstanding political dispute between Uyghurs advocating independence and the Chinese government, this system has deepened Uyghur discontent and exacerbated the conflict [24].

Despite the reality, China again started mass arbitrarily arresting of their Uyghur citizens in 2016. China is mass arresting millions of innocent Uyghurs and deliberately targeting Uyghur intellectuals, including academics, writers, poets, artists, teachers, and medical doctors. China claimed these internment camps propose “re-educating Uyghurs” for “vocational training,” but these intellectuals do not need re-education or vocational training. They are all professionals and used to work in the Chinese government. But Chinese authorities’ specific target on Uyghur scholars reveals that China aims to destroy Uyghur ethnic existence and force Uyghurs to assimilate into Han Chinese.

The following questions to be answered: Over the 72 years rule of Chinese Communists on East Turkistan (Uyghuristan), regardless of periodically campaigning for “ethnic unity” slogans but with more than 50 years of its control, China implemented cruel and oppressive policies towards Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups. In recent years we have witnessed a systematic and “slow-motion” cultural and ethnic genocide on Uyghurs. The Chinese government is committing serious crimes against humanity, and the world must hold China accountable.

There are worldwide calls taking action to stop China’s genocide on the Uyghurs. The awareness about the Uyghur tragedy globally increases. There is growing pressure from the international community on China, including NGOs and other Western civil societies that are continuously challenging the regime. So, will China close down its notorious “Internment camps” sooner, or will China continue its hideous crimes against the Uyghur people?

Nowadays, economically successful China has already become an advisory of the USA and the leading Western democracies. We can say that the already well-established world order with Western democratic values is under severe threat by authoritarian Communist China. It is actively spreading its’ authoritarianism around the world.

Will the UN or Western powers stop the Chinese genocide against the Uyghurs, or let China do the “Never again”?

It’s an absolute moral and principal obligation of the world, including all UN member states, to save innocent people’s lives from genocide. Indeed, it’s up to the Western democracies. The world can afford to protect the Uyghurs, saving their lives from China’s genocide – or will they let China go freely with its crime against humanity and give them opportunities to export its genocide criminality to the rest of the world?


1. RFA revealed that Kuchar County is home to four large internment camps that can hold between 10,000 and 50,000 detainees, three of which are located in Yengisher district. According to census figures from 2013, some 470,000 people live in Kuchar County. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/deaths-10292019181322.html
Xi calls for building “great wall of iron” for Xinjiang’s stability http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/10/c_136119256.htm

2. Xinjiang – China’s Muslim borderland: The history of a crossroads region. Page. 27. Bartlett, B. (1999). Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity, and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759–1864. By James A. Millward. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998. xxii, 353 pp. $55.00. The Journal of Asian Studies, 58(2), 498-500. doi:10.2307/2659434

3. A.N.Kuropatkin – Calcutta: Thacker Spink, 1882. First in English. Hardcover. (Eastern or Chinese Turkestan). Historial and geographical sketch of the country, its military strength, industries and trade. 255 pp, ill. One of the earliest and rarest works on this still little-known mystical region.
Kashgaria, by A.N.Kuropatkin. Translated from English to Uyghur by Hekime. Published by Xinjiang People’s publisher in 1996. Urumchi. Page 398. “Zozungtang and Xinjiang” -“左宗棠与新疆” – “Zozungtang we Xinjiang” by Du Jingguo, translated from Chinese to Uyghur by Ibrahim Sulayman, published by Xinjiang People’s Publisher in 1997.

4. Bellér-Hann, Ildikó Situating the Uyghurs between China and Central Asia Ashgate 21 Dec 2007 ISBN 978-0-7546-7041-4 p.42

5. Starr, S. Frederick (2004). “Part V. The Indigenous Response”. Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland. M. E. Sharpe. p. 315.

6. More than 140 historians, ethnographers, archaeologists, and literature specialists from different ethnic groups in Xinjiang and Beijing scrutinized the research of the book, concluding that it “distorted and falsified history”. The government soon publicized a pamphlet and long-length articles at “Xinjiang” Daily newspaper called “One Hundred Mistakes of Turghun Almas’s Uyghurlar” to publicize the book’s historical flaws, which had the opposite effect of increasing interest in the book.
Rudelson, Justin Jon (1997). “Chapter 6: The Future of the Uyghur Past”. Oasis Identities: Uyghur Nationalism Along China’s Silk Road. Columbia University Press. p. 159.

7. Down a Narrow Road: Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community in Xinjiang China

8. China: Long-standing Uighur grievances behind repeated protests must be addressed

9. ‘Invitation to a Mourning Ceremony’: Perspectives on the Uyghur Internet RACHEL HARRIS and AZIZ ISA. Inner Asia Vol. 13, No. 1, SPECIAL ISSUE: XINJIANG AND SOUTHWEST CHINA (2011), pp. 27-49 Published by: Brill https://www.jstor.org/stable/24572134

10. Xinjiang Today: Wang Zhen Rides Again? By Tom Cliff. Published on “Made in China” Journal’s 6th issue of 2018.
“One legend—with a number of variations, as all good legends must have—venerates disproportionate response. According to this story, in 1950, as Wang Zhen’s forces were spreading down into Southern Xinjiang, a Han man had unthinkingly or insensitively prepared a meal of pork in an Uyghur village, and was killed or badly beaten for the transgression. Upon hearing about this, Wang Zhen had his troops surround the village so no one could escape. He then forced the villagers to hand over the perpetrators and publicly executed them in the village square. Next, he had his troops slaughter two or three pigs and boil them up in a large cauldron; at bayonet point, the troops then forced each and every remaining resident of the village to eat a bowl of boiled pork. Given the shortage of meat to feed his own soldiers, this was surely a high-cost exercise.“
https://www.chinoiresie.info/xinjiang-today-wang-zhen-rides-again https://madeinchinajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Made-in-China-01-2018.pdf

11. China’s frontier of fear – ABC News agency reported on 31 Oct 2018: “Despite the massive scale of the camps examined in this project, it’s likely they make up just a fraction of the detention network in Xinjiang. Estimates of camp numbers range anywhere between 181 to upwards of 1,200.” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-01/satellite-images-expose-chinas-network-of-re-education-camps/10432924
In September 2019, experts estimate China Has more than 1,000 internment camps for Xinjiang Uyghurs.
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/zenz-11122019161147.html https://www.businessinsider.com/china-kept-building-uighur-internment-camps-despite-release-claims-report-2020-9?r=US&IR=T

12. China’s mass indoctrination camps evoke Cultural Revolution https://apnews.com/6e151296fb194f85ba69a8babd972e4b
Omer Bekali – China Tribunal – UN Human Rights Council: https://youtu.be/18rbnZrekPo
China Sending Muslims to Internment Camps – Associated Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMsE235VXGY

13. Uighurs in China: ‘I didn’t even know if my mum was alive’ Aziz Isa Elkun is one of many Uighur Muslims living in London who have been cut off from contacting their families based in Xinjiang. Since 2016, China has detained more than one million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in what they call “educational centres”.

14. Video: In Full – Ex-Xinjiang detainee Mihrigul Tursun’s full testimony at the US congressional hearing

15. Uyghur refugee tells of death and fear inside China’s Xinjiang camps
‘Pure evil’: Satellites show destroyed Uyghur graves in China

16. ‘Their goal is to destroy everyone’: Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape

17. UK under renewed pressure to impose sanctions in wake of ‘clearly evil acts’ against Uighur and Muslim women

18. Nus Ghani: China and genocide. Our new proposal answers Ministers’ objections. So they should support it.

19. ‘Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims

More than 400 pages of internal Chinese documents provide an unprecedented inside look at the crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

20. U.S. Says China Is Committing Genocide Against Uyghur Muslims

21. China has committed genocide in its repression of the Uyghurs and other mainly Muslim peoples, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday. President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said he agrees with the finding. Rights groups believe that China detained up to a million Uighurs over the past few years in what the state defines as “re-education camps”. BBC investigations suggest that Uyghurs are being used as forced labour. Tensions with China have been a defining feature of Donald Trump’s term, from trade policies to the coronavirus pandemic.

22. UK tightens rules on using Uighur-picked cotton. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55638566

23. Lords defeats government over UK courts’ role in genocide rulings Peers vote for a second time to amend trade bill and take a tougher stance on China’s human rights record https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/feb/02/lords-defeats-government-over-uk-courts-role-in-genocide-rulings

24. Autonomy in Xinjiang: Han Nationalist Imperatives and Uyghur Discontent Gardner Bovingdon. Uyghur discontent and ethnonational conflict in Xinjiang since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Copyright © 2004 by the East-West Center Washington. (page 11)