A city in far-western region of Xinjiang in China has ordered people who have been “poisoned by extremism, terrorism and separatism”, have been in contact with overseas terror groups or behaving in a “conservative” Islamic manner, to turn themselves in, according to a notice, Reuters reported.
Earlier in August, an investigative UN panel had reported of a massive ‘internment camp’ in China’s Xinjiang province and stated their concerns over the whereabouts of Uighur students who disappeared after returning from abroad.
Following the report, China released a television documentary which showed images of classroom studies in stark contrast from the harsh conditions in re-education camps.
In an interview published by the official Xinhua news agency, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of Xinjiang’s government and the country’s highest-ranking Uighur, said the camps had “won widespread acceptance and wholehearted support of the public in Xinjiang.”
Testimonies of Uighur Muslims published by news agency Al Jazeera who escaped Xinjiang confirm reports of ‘systematic campaign of human rights violations’.
“All individuals involved in terrorist crimes and poisoned by the ‘three evil forces’ are urged to surrender themselves to the judicial organs within 30 days and to confess and hand over the facts of your crime,” said the Hami city notice.
The message said actions including being in contact with overseas “terror” groups and conservative Islamic behaviour should make individuals surrender themselves.
Advocating that people live their lives in accordance with the Quran, stopping other people from watching television, or banning alcohol, smoking and dancing at weddings are listed as behaviors that should prompt informing the authorities, the report stated.
The list also included openly destroying, rejecting or thwarting the government identification system, as well as rejecting housing provided by the state, according to the report.
Those who turn themselves in within 30 days will be treated leniently. And if the information provides a significant clue, they might avoid all punishments, the notice said.
Last month, Urumqi had launched a campagin against products produced under the Islamic law, called ‘halal’, including food and toothpaste, due to what it sees as the ‘infiltration of Islam’ into ‘secular life’.