“Eradicating Ideological Viruses:” China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims

“’Eradicating Ideological Viruses:’ China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims,” Human Rights Watch, 9 September 2018.


“The Chinese government has long carried out repressive policies against the Turkic Muslim peoples in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China. These efforts have been dramatically scaled up since late 2016 when Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo relocated from the Tibet Autonomous Region to assume leadership of Xinjiang.”

This report presents evidence of mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. It highlights the abuses which violate fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion, and privacy and protection from torture and unfair trials.

“The human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. The establishment and expansion of political education camps and other abusive practices suggest that Beijing’s commitment to transforming Xinjiang in its own image is long-term.”

It concludes by presenting a list of recommendations for all key stakeholders and stresses the need for a rapid international response, including targeted sanctions, to changing human rights developments in the region.