China legalizes Xinjiang ‘re-education camps’ after denying they exist

By Ben Westcott and Yong Xiong | CNN

(CNN) Authorities in China’s far-western Xinjiang region appear to have officially legalized so-called re-education camps for people accused of religious extremism, a little more than a month after denying such centers exist.

The Xinjiang government on Tuesday revised a local law to encourage “vocational skill education training centers” to “carry out anti-extremist ideological education.”

Human rights organizations have long alleged the Chinese government has been detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs — a Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim minority native to Xinjiang — in such centers as part of an effort to enforce patriotism and loyalty to Beijing in the region.

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