Video Duration 10 minutes 12 seconds
From: UpFront

Uighur refugee: I’m not very optimistic

Ilshat Hassan speaks about China’s internment of Uighurs and the international community’s response.

Since April 2017, Chinese authorities have detained at least 800,000 and possibly more than two million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minorities in so-called “re-education camps”, according to testimony from United States State Department official, Scott Busby, before Congress on December 4.

The Chinese government initially denied these camps exist. However, they’ve now legalised them and say these are merely vocational, educational training centres intended to “combat extremism” – despite the fact that some of those detained are reportedly university presidents or other Communist Party officials.

Some say this is one of the world’s most ignored human rights crisis.

Ilshat Hassan, a Uighur activist and president of the Uyghur American Association, was forced to leave China in 2003 and has been separated from his family ever since.

“They [police] used electric, the baton, and they electricised me twice in one interrogation,” Hassan recalls his experience of being monitored as a teacher at a vocational training college, and having been arrested twice, beaten and electrocuted.

Since losing contact with his family three years ago, Hassan’s sister and two nephews have allegedly been arrested.

On an UpFront Special Interview, Ilshat Hassan tells his story and reflects on the latest news about the Uighurs in China.

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