The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) launched its Xinjiang Data Project on September 24, a new database that maps and identifies 380 re-education camps, detention centers, and prisons in the Chinese territory.
ASPI said it was “the most comprehensive dataset on Xinjiang’s carceral system in the world.”
“The evidence in this database shows that despite Chinese officials’ claims about detainees ‘graduating’ from the camps in December 2019, significant investment in the construction of suspected new detention facilities has continued throughout 2019 and 2020,” ASPI said. “At least 60 facilities have seen new construction since mid 2019 and 14 facilities remain under construction at mid 2020, according to the latest satellite imagery available.”
Chinese authorities launched a region-wide crackdown in Xinjiang in 2017. According to Amnesty International, authorities in Xinjiang have detained an estimated one million predominantly Muslim ethnic minority people.
In June, a group of 50 UN experts expressed their alarm regarding the “repression of fundamental freedoms” in China, and urged the UN Human Rights Council to “take all appropriate measures” to monitor the human rights situation in China.
“The UN independent experts believe it is time for renewed attention on the human rights situation in the country, particularly in light of the moves against the people of the Hong Kong SAR, minorities of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and human rights defenders across the country,” said the group in a news release. Credit: Australian Strategic Policy Institute via Storyful