Xinjiang camps biblio

Someone asked me for readings on the Xinjiang camps, and I compiled this biblio to keep track; cleaned it up to share here. Unfortunately will have to be updated–feel free to send me more. –This is huge, historic, horrible.–Magnus Fiskesjö <>

China’s ‘re-education’/concentration camps in Xinjiang – Select news reports & academic works

Comp. by Magnus Fiskesjö []. Last rev. August 3, 2018

First: News reports from 2018; then, a section with more academic studies on Xinjiang

News and reports in chronological order (from 2018):

China: Massive Numbers of Uyghurs & Other Ethnic Minorities Forced into Re-education Programs. CHRD, August 3, 2018.

Ethnic cleansing makes a comeback — in China. By Josh Rogin, Columnist, Washington Post, August 2, 2018.–in-china/2018/08/02/55f73fa2-9691-11e8-810c-5fa705927d54_story.html

‘Everyone was silent, endlessly mute’: Former Chinese re-education instructor speaks out. Nathan VanderKlippe, Asia Correspondent, Beijing. Updated August 2, 2018.

Gene A. Bunin: How the “Happiest Muslims in the World” are Coping with Their Happiness. Written by Gene A. Bunin. July 31, 2018.

Accounts Show Impact of Repression in Xinjiang. China Digital Times, July 31, 2018.

How a Chinese region that accounts for just 1.5% of the population became one of the most intrusive police states in the world. Tara Francis Chan, Business Insider, [31 july 2018].

“Crimes Against Humanity” in Xinjiang Draw Attention. China Digital Times, July 30, 2018.

US urged to sanction Chinese officials overseeing sweeping crackdown in Muslim region. HKFP, 27 July 2018 17:23. Catherine Lai.

China’s Xinjiang Province A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen. By Bernhard Zand. Der Spiegel, July 26, 2018  02:01PM.

China’s crimes against humanity you’ve never heard of. By Michael Caster. CNN. Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT) July 26, 2018.

US CONGRESSIONAL HEARING on situation in Xinjiang — “Surveillance, Suppression, and Mass Detention: Xinjiang’s Human Rights Crisis.” Thursday, July 26, 10am-12pm,’s-human-rights-crisis  +

Censorship, Geopolitical Time Bombs, and China’s Islamophobia Problem. By: Matt Schrader. July 25, 2018.

Islamic Leaders Have Nothing to Say About China’s Internment Camps for Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Uighur have been detained without trial in China’s western region of Xinjiang. BY NITHIN COCA | JULY 24, 2018, 10:23 PM.

China’s ‘re-education centers’ draw attention in Kazakhstan trial of former worker at Xinjiang camp. AFP-JIJI. July 20, 2018.

China Studies between Censorship and Self-censorship. Op-Ed by Kevin Carrico. Made in China, July 17, 2018.

Spy For Us — Or Never Speak To Your Family Again: China is using its huge digital surveillance system, and the threat of sending family members to reeducation camps, to pressure minorities to spy on their fellow exiles. Posted on Jul 9, 2018, 12:57:49 PM GMT. Megha Rajagopalan, BuzzFeed News Reporter, Reporting From Istanbul, Turkey

Rising star footballer is among more than a million Uyghurs sent to Chinese ‘re-education’ camps. 7 July 2018 20:00 Global Voices.

Uyghur exile group leader’s mother died in Xinjiang detention center. Radio Free Asia, July 2, 2018.

Ulkomaat: Hyvinkäällä asuvien Harrin ja Tiinan vanhemmat katosivat ”isän­maalliselle koulutus­leirille”, joka on suunnattu Kiinan muslimi­vähemmistölle. Virve Kähkönen HS, Katriina Pajari HS. Helsining Sanomat, July 1, 2018. Julkaistu: 1.7. 2:00 , Päivitetty: 1.7. 9:23. (In Finnish)

Efter kun 20 dage i genopdragelseslejren var Omir klar til at begå selvmord: Kinas nordvestlige Xinjiang-provins er blevet en af verdens mest gennemførte politistater. DNA-prøver, ansigtsscanning og digitale fodspor samles og bruges til at overvåge de lokale muslimers mindste skridt. Op mod en million skønnes at være blevet sendt i politiske genopdragelseslejre. Berlingske, Søndag D. 1. JULI 2018 KL. 10:52. Af Lene Winther. (In Danish: “After 20 days in the camp, Omir was ready to commit suicide”)

Translation: Propaganda in Urumqi Amid Crackdown. Josh Rudolph, China Digital Times. June 28, 2018, 7:59 PM.

The Borderlands of a Brave New World. By Geremie Barmé et al [see esp. the sections by David Brophy]. China Heritage, 26 June 2018.

Pete Irwin @PeteCIrwin [Uyghur Congress]. We briefed many supportive states on the fact that at least one million #Uyghurs are arbitrarily detained in political indoctrination camps at #HRC38 in Geneva @UNHumanRights. No excuse that information is not widely available to member states, it’s now a choice to act or not. 22 Jun 2018 from Geneva, Switzerland.

While Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy sparks controversy in the US, China is detaining hundreds of thousands of legal citizens for doing nothing wrong. Tara Francis Chan. Business Insider, June 22, 2018, 1:36 AM.

Is China building ‘political re-education’ camps for Muslim minorities? In China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, there have been reports of “re-education” camps where over 200,000 “suspects” are being held. DW spoke with researcher Adrian Lenz about the veracity of the reports. Hans Spross, DW, 21.06.2018.

China: Uyghur pop musician and lyric writer detained, concerns for his well-being. PEN international, Thursday 21 June 2018 – 5:03pm.

China is using terrorist threats to culturally cleanse its west. By Michael Clarke, ANU. East Asia Forum, 18 June 2018.

Time to denounce China’s Muslim gulag. By James Leibold. 19 June 2018. Lowy Institute, Australia.

Reeducation Returns to China: Will the Repression in Xinjiang Influence Beijing’s Social Credit System? By Adrian Zenz. Foreign Affairs, June 20, 2018.

Chinese-Uyghur PhD Student Feared Detained in Re-Education Camp. Scholars At Risk. June 22, 2018. (on Guligeina Tashimaimaiti/Gulgine Tashmemet)

Comparing the Brainwashing of Uighurs With the Party’s Anti-Falun Gong Campaign. Matthew Robertson. ChinaChange, June 18, 2018.

How Should the World Respond to Intensifying Repression in Xinjiang? A ChinaFile Conversation. June 4, 2018.

China’s Uyghur Repression: In the name of combating Islamic extremism, the Chinese Communist Party has embarked on a massive campaign of harassment and detention of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province. By David Brophy. The Jacobin, May 31, 2018.

Former inmates of China’s Muslim “re-education” camps tell of brainwashing, torture. Washington Post, May 17, 2018.

Apartheid with Chinese characteristics: China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other. Totalitarian determination and modern technology have produced a massive abuse of human rights. The Economist, May 31st 2018 | HOTAN, XINJIANG PROVINCE.

China is secretly imprisoning close to 1 million people — but they’ve left 2 big pieces of evidence behind. Tara Francis Chan. Business Insider, May. 30, 2018.

Xinjiang Jails Uyghur Civil Servants Over Lack of Enthusiasm For Anti-Extremist Campaigns. RFA,2018-05-30.

List of Re-education Camps in Xinjiang 新疆再教育集中营列表. By Shawn Zhang. May 19, 2018. (

Survivors of China’s far west political camps detail ordeal. By GERRY SHIH. AP, May. 18, 2018.


Chinese mass-indoctrination camps evoke Cultural Revolution. Associated Press, May 17, 2018.

Former inmates of China’s Muslim “re-education” camps tell of brainwashing, torture. Washington Post, May 17, 2018.

中国如何对少数民族进行 “教育转化” [What really happens in China’s “re-education” camps]. The New York Times, May 16, 2018 – Chinese version. (English:

What Really Happens in China’s ‘Re-education’ Camps. By Rian Thum. New York Times, May 15, 2018. –A good place to start!

New evidence for China’s political re-education campaign in Xinjiang. Jamestown Foundation, May 15, 2018.

学者:新疆再教育营关人或近百万 警察抓人有指标 (Xinjiang police puts nearly 1 million in re-education camp to meet quota: Scholar). Voice of America, May 8, 2018.

新疆“培训中心”系统性强迫灌服不明药物 女人停经男人丧失生殖功能 (Xinjiang said to systemically sterilize people at re-education camps). China Aid, May 4, 2018.

China’s police state in Xinjiang. May 4, 2018. (Panel discussion on the Xinjiang police state with James Millward, a professor of history at Georgetown University; Rian Thum, an associate professor of history at Loyola University in New Orleans, et al].

Uighur journalist Gulchehra Hoja: ‘I have my own sad story to tell’: DW spoke to Uighur journalist Gulchehra Hoja who, along with some of her colleagues, accuses the Chinese authorities of arresting her family members as retribution for her reports about the plight of the Uighurs. DW, 05.03.2018. Srinivas Mazumdaru (Interview).

  • at bottom, an excellent list of more reports.

Navigating Xinjiang’s security checkpoints: It’s not hard to spot the ethno-racial profiling Chinese authorities use to clamp down on Uighur resistance. Darren Byler April 30, 2018.

‘Eradicate the tumors’: Chinese civilians drive Xinjiang crackdown on separatism. BY BEN DOOLEY. AFP-JIJI. Japan Times, APR 26, 2018.

UHRP releases new report- ‘The Bingtuan: China’s Paramilitary Colonizing Force in East Turkestan’. Published Thu, 04/26/2018 – 10:45. Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Xinjiang Authorities Detain Uyghur Pro Footballer For ‘Visiting Foreign Countries’. RFA 2018-04-13.

China’s Campaign Against Uighur Diaspora Ramps Up: In its attempts to control Uighurs abroad, the Chinese government is holding families hostage. BY MARTIN DE BOURMONT | APRIL 3, 2018, 11:10 AM.

The biopolitics of China’s “war on terror” and the exclusion of the Uyghurs. By Sean R. Roberts. Critical Asian Studies, Volume 50, Issue 2, June 2018, Pages: 232-258. Published online: 22 March 2018. DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2018.1454111.

Chinese Police Are Demanding Personal Information From Uighurs in France: Officials have threatened to detain relatives of those who don’t comply. By Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. March 2, 2018, 4:53 PM.

Images in Red: Han Culture, Uyghur Performers, Chinese New Year. By Darren Byler (雷风). February 23, 2018. (Specifically on the forced assimilation to Chinese (Han-Chinese) cultural forms.

(See more on the insightful blog:

China ‘holding at least 120,000 Uighurs in re-education camps’: US-backed news group claims Mao-style camps are springing up on China’s western border. Tom Phillips in Beijing. The Guardian, Thursday, 25 Jan 2018 03.03 EST.

Also see:

The slow creep and chilling effect of China’s censorship. Nithin Coca. Daily Dot, Aug 20, 2016 at 3:00AM | Last updated Aug 29, 2016 at 10:38AM.

A Voice From China’s Uighur Homeland, Reporting From the U.S. The Saturday Profile. By MICHAEL FORSYTHE JULY 31, 2015.

  • Select academic works on Uighurs & others in Xinjiang:

Bellér-Hann, Ildikó. Community matters in Xinjiang, 1880-1949: Towards a historical anthropology of the Uyghur. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008.

Bellér-Hann, Ildikó et al, eds. Situating the Uyghurs between China and Central Asia. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub., 2007.

Bovingdon, Gardner. The Uyghurs: Strangers in their own land. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Brox, Trine, and Ildikó Bellér-Hann, eds. On the Fringes of the Harmonious Society: Tibetans and Uyghurs in Socialist China. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2014.

Cesaro, M. Cristina. “Consuming identities: Food and resistance among the Uyghur in contemporary Xinjiang.” Inner Asia 2.2 (2000), 225-38.

Dwyer, Arienne M. The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy and Political Discourse. Washington: East-West Center Publications, Vol. 15, 2005.

Dautcher, Jay. Down a Narrow Road: Identity and Masculinity in a Uyghur Community in Xinjiang, China. Harvard University Press, 2009.

Hierman, Brent. The Pacification of Xinjiang: Uighur Protest and the Chinese State, 1988-2002. Problems of Post-Communism 54.3 (May-June 2007), 48-62.

Kaltman, Blaine. Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2014.

Holdstock, Nick. China’s forgotten people: Xinjiang, terror and the Chinese state. London: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2015.

Ilham Tohti, “Present-Day Ethnic Problems in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region: Overview and Recommendations.” 2015 (2014). May 19, 2015.

Ilham Tohti, Statement after Receiving a Life Sentence for Allegedly “Separatist” Crimes, (2014),

‘My Father Shouldn’t Be in Jail At All’. RFA, 2016-10-17. Reported by Ng Yik-tung and Sing Man for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and Mihray Abdilim for the Uyghur Service. Translated by Mamatjan Juma and Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Luisetta Mudie. [Jewher Ilham on her father, Ilham Tohti] +

Sautman, Barry. “Preferential policies for ethnic minorities in China: The case of Xinjiang.” In William Safran, ed. Nationalism and Ethnoregional Conflicts in China. London: Frank Cass, 1998, 86-118.

Sautman, Barry. Is Xinjiang an internal colony? Inner Asia 2.2 (2000) 239-71.

Schluessel, Eric. History, identity, and mother-tongue education in Xinjiang. Central Asian Survey 28.4 (2009): 383-402.

Smith Finley, Joanne. “‘Ethnic Anomaly’ or Modern Uyghur Survivor? A Case Study of the Minkaohan Hybrid Identity in Xinjiang,” in Ildikó Bellér-Hahn et al., eds. Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007.

Starr, S. Frederick. Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Borderland. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2015.

Thum, Rian R. The sacred routes of Uyghur history. PhD Diss., Harvard University, 2010. UMI 3415383.

Thum, Rian. Uighurs in modern China. Oxford Research Encyclopedias, April 2018.

Thum, Rian. Modular history: Identity maintenance before Uyghur nationalism. Journal of Asian Studies 71.3 (2012), 627-53.

Törnvall, Gunilla. Svenskar bidrog till Östturkestans skriftspråk. Svenska Dagbladet, Publ.: 12 november 2006, 20.44. Last updated: 11 oktober 2007, 08.50.

(Interesting article in Swedish on the work of earlier-generation Swedish scholars like Gunnar Jarring, in Xinjiang).

Zhang, Shaoying and Derek McGhee. Social policies and ethnic conflict in China: Lessons from Xinjiang. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

  • More:

There are frequent research updates on the Xinjiang camps on Twitter, by scholars and otehrs such as Adrian Zenz, @adrianzenz; Shawn Zhang, @shawnwzhang; Rian Thum, @RianThum; Jo Smith Finley, @j_smithfinley; and more.

Also, Darren Byler’s blog:

Lots more materials on the Uighurs and Xinjiang are available — f ex on Ilham Tohti, famous “moderate” Uighur professor in Peking recently sentenced to life in prison. See above on him and his brave daughter Jewher Ilham who is a student in exile in the USA and is active on behalf of her father despite the tragedy and sorrow.

See also books and studies by Rian Thum, James Millward, James Leibold, Gardner Bovingdon, Jay Dautcher, and many others. See above.

For more see: Judy Woelfel, “Annotated Bibliography: Uighur Identity and Relations with China” (2010?),

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