CORRECTION: This article initially referred to Nury Turkel as a "Chinese refugee," which is not correct. He is a Uyghur-American lawyer.
(CNSNews.com) -- More than 2 million Muslims are being held and forced to undergo re-education in Communist Chinese concentration camps in Xinjiang province, according to Uyghur-American attorney Nury Turkel, who is the chairman of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.
Turkel made his remarks during a discussion about religious liberty at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on June 7.
The panel discussion was entitled “Responding to the Crisis in Xinjiang,” and the panelists, besides Turkel, included Adrian Zenz, independent researcher and Chinese Affairs analyst; Olivia Enos, a policy analyst at the Heritage Asian Studies Center; and Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, who acted as the moderator of the discussion.
“As we speak, more than 2 million Uyghurs and other Turkey Muslims have been interned in what the experts and now the U.S. government officials have been calling as concentration camps,” said Turkel. “These camps aim to put Uyghurs through conversion therapy that I believe is human re-engineering and programing.”
He described in detail the villages dotted with security cameras, children removed from their parents and forced into state-run orphanages, and invasive DNA collection, all while the active persecution of the Uyghurs is denied by the Chinese government.
“The government, the Chinese authorities, have been trying to change the headline by calling [the camps] reeducation centers, vocational schools,” said Turkel.
He described the persecutions of the Muslim Uyghurs as the Chinese “final solution,” a phrase that stems from Nazi Germany’s Final Solution for the Jews, I.e., extermination.
“We are sitting on a time bomb, a ticking time bomb,” said Turkel. He explained that if the situation is left unaddressed, either the Uyghur culture will be obliterated or the reeducation project will have failed, and the possibility of reprisals in the form of staggering casualties could be a direct result.
Adrian Zenz, an independent researcher and Chinese Affairs analyst, then gave a presentation on the structure of the Chinese camps in 3D models that were given to him by a Chinese minority who visited the compounds.
“Apparently [the schools] have been turned into a walled and guarded compound and expanded, and satellite images prove it,” said Zenz. He then displayed a picture depicting a classroom with iron bars surrounding the students’ desks, facing a teacher and a blackboard. “They are literally fenced in inside the classroom,” he said. “You’ll also notice a guard person in front of every classroom and a gated iron-barred door that additionally locks every classroom just in case someone could get out.”
The minority who sent Zenz the models claimed that women of all ages were being forced to learn Chinese behind the iron bars.
Olivia Enos, a policy analyst at the Heritage Asian Studies Center, closed out the panel discussion, illustrating how the dangerous communist culture of surveillance and oppression in Xinjiang is already spreading beyond China.
“China is exporting its tools of authoritarianism,” she remarked. “China’s exporting of surveillance technology to Africa is not only so that the Chinese government itself can spy for their own purposes but also so that the African governments themselves can spy on their people.”
“They actually built microphones into walls of this [the African Union] building, and then they made it so that between 2012 and 2017 they were getting nightly downloads from the servers inside,” said Enos.
She claimed that if the United States did not address the problem with statements of condemnation and possible boycotts, such as against the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Chinese tyrannical oversight would spread globally.