BEIJING: China’s far-western Xinjiang region has inserted into its anti-extremism regulations new clauses that prescribe the use of “vocational training centres” to “educate and transform” people influenced by extremist ideology.
Reports of mass detentions and strict surveillance of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have sparked a growing international outcry, prompting the United States to consider sanctions against officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.
Chinese officials have denied enforcing arbitrary detention and political re-education across a network of secret camps, instead saying that some citizens guilty of minor offences were sent to vocational centres to provide future employment opportunities.
The three new clauses are the first time the regulations, which first came into effect in April last year, refer to vocational training centres.
“Governments above the county level can set up education and transformation organisations and supervising departments such as vocational training centres, to educate and transform people who have been influenced by extremism,” one of the clauses said.
Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2018