China’s state-run Global Times argued on Monday that most Chinese people “laughed” at Mihrigul Tursun, a Muslim Uighur woman who revealed last week she had suffered beatings, electrocution, and the killing of her infant child in an internment camp set up by Beijing.
China has denied assertions by the United States and United Nations that Beijing has forced up to one million Muslim minorities — mainly Uighurs but also ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz — into an estimated 1,200 mind-transformation centers, also known as concentration camps, where the prisoners face systemic torture, disappearances, executions, and arbitrary detentions, among other crimes.
Beijing claims the facilities, located in Uighur Muslim majority-Xinjiang province, are vocational and educational centers aimed at combatting terrorism and religious extremism.
Referring to a Time magazine article featuring testimony before American lawmakers from Uighur woman Mihrigul Tursun, who claimed torture at the hands of her captors, a Global Times editorial argued Monday:
I did an experiment: Sending the link [of the article] to ordinary Chinese I know. Most of them laughed when they heard Tursun’s testimony. “It’s nonsense,” was their first reaction. Why did they react this way? The question should be left for editors from Time magazine to answer. If they treated her testimony more skeptically, figured out how outdated was the language she used and whether her remarks were reasonable, then the magazine wouldn’t have made such a fool of itself. China has made enough explanation. But those editors are still unimaginably ignorant of China. Will more explanation work?
Global Times accused Western media of using allegations of oppression and torture by Uighurs (or Uyghurs) “to attack China while being so indifferent to all the loopholes in her words.”
Independent and U.S. government assessments have documented mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of Muslims at the re-education centers in Xinjiang. Nevertheless, China has repeatedly pushed back against complaints about its abuse of its Muslim minority in Xinjiang province, accusing a former concentration camp detainees, namely Mihrigul Tursun, of lying about torture and murder.
Last week, a bombshell Reuters investigation found that China is rapidly expanding the construction of the mind-transformation center as part of Beijing’s campaign to ensure its Muslim minority is loyal to the communist party.
“Former detainees describe being tortured during interrogation, living in crowded cells and being subjected to a brutal daily regimen of Communist Party indoctrination that drove some people to suicide,” Reuters reported.
Echoing other assessments, Reuters has found that the facilities resemble the Soviet Union’s Gulag prisons.