‘Admit Your Mistakes, Repent’: China Shifts Campaign to Control Xinjiang’s MuslimsFebruary 06, 2020
Discerning the truth in Xinjiang remains a challenge. Local officials block foreign reporters from moving freely in the region, particularly in the vicinity of re-education camps. Xinjiang’s Propaganda Bureau didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Local Uighur residents shy away from speaking to reporters, fearful of official retribution, making it difficult to have more than brief conversations with them.
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Fear still appeared to grip many of the city’s residents. The face of a young Uighur woman working in a clothing shop in Hotan darkened when asked whether locals previously sent to re-education camps had since been released. “I do not know what that is,” she said, turning away.
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Around a dozen Uighur villagers were directed by officials to prevent Journal reporters from approaching, and the villagers occasionally leapt forward to try to block reporters from taking pictures. Asked what the compound was, they repeated a few lines in Mandarin: “I don’t know who you are,” and “This isn’t a re-education center.”