Associated Press reporters were given extraordinary access during an official visit to China’s far west Xinjiang region, where they visited parts of the detention center.
China Detention Center
A place to hold 10,000 people has been made in China’s largest and possibly the world’s largest Detention Center. Apart from this, more people can be kept here if needed. Associated Press reporters were given extraordinary access during an official visit to China’s far west Xinjiang region, where they visited parts of the detention center. Spread over 220 acres, Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center is twice the area of Vatican City. It has been identified as a pre-trial detention center on a sign board in front of it.
Chinese officials declined to give the number of prisoners, saying the number could vary. But on the basis of the photographs taken from the satellite and the cells and benches seen during the tour, it can be said that more than 10,000 people can be accommodated in it. This location shows that China still has Uighurs and other minorities, especially Muslims, in detention centers and plans to keep them imprisoned. Satellite images show that in 2019, new buildings about a mile long were added to the Dabancheng Detention Center.
Till now China has been denying the matter of detention center
China has described its massive effort to house a million or more minorities in detention centers over the past four years as a “war on terror”, following several incidents of stabbings and bombings by some extremist Uighurs native to Xinjiang . Among its most controversial aspects were the so-called commercial ‘training centres’. Where former prisoners lived described it as brutal internment camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. China had earlier denied their existence and later, after heavy international criticism, said in 2019 that all those held there had graduated.
Detention center is sent on going abroad or attending religious gatherings
However, agency visits to Dabangcheng, satellite images and interviews with experts and former detainees show that many “training centres” may have closed down. But some centers like it were converted into prisons or pre-trial detention centres. Apart from this, many detention centers have also been constructed. These include a new detention center built on 85 acres below road number three in Dabangcheng.
The change appears to be an attempt to move temporary and extra-judicial ‘training centres’ into a more permanent system of prisons and detention centers before trial under the law. While some Uighurs have been released, others have been included in this network of prisons. However, researchers say that many innocent people are often pushed into detention centers for things like going abroad or attending religious gatherings.
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