Inside Story

Is China persecuting its Uighur Muslim minority?

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council is examining Beijing’s alleged crackdown on Uighur Muslims.

The United Nations says it resembles “a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy.”

But China says the facility is a “vocational education and employment training centre.”

More than a million Uighur Muslims are believed to be held in the Western region of Xinjiang – a mainly Uighur populated area.

Beijing denies accusations of the mass detentions, saying Uighurs who have been involved in crime are being given a second chance through vocational work.

But the centres where they are thought to be held have come under increasing scrutiny by many rights groups.

During questioning at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, which is reviewing China’s human rights record this week, Beijing said it protects the freedoms of its ethnic minorities.

But will the growing international pressure make any difference?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Max Oidtmann – assistant professor of history at Georgetown University

Einar Tangen – political and economic analyst

Sophie Richardson – China director at Human Rights Watch