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American legal residents held in Xinjiang camps: US


IANS Washington
The US State Department sources have said that they know American residents, either citizens or people with legal status in Washington, were being held in detention camps in Xinjiang, China, the media reported.
The sources however, did not give an exact number of how many residents were being held, but said on Thursday that there were a few, CNN reported.
At a State Department briefing on Thursday, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said he had a new, unconfirmed report about a man in California whose father, a legal US resident, had not been heard from since returning to Xinjiang.
"He had legal status being here, travelled back to Xinjiang after being here with his son in California. And then has not been heard from since. And he's deeply concerned about whether, what his treatment is. He has a number of chronic illnesses, he's a 75-year-old man and an intellectual," Brownback said.
"Entire villages are being encased and people limited on their movement in and out, of the villages in that region that's occurring as well. The situation continues and in some cases appears to be escalating, not de-escalating," he added.
The 2018 State Department Human Rights report estimated that China "arbitrarily detained 800,000 to possibly more than two million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims in internment camps designed to erase religious and ethnic identities".
The State Department on Thursday night reiterated its travel advisory for US citizens going to China, warning specifically of "extra security measures in the Xinjiang Uigher Autonomous Region".
The Chinese government has defended these camps as a means of fighting what they claim is a rising tide of extremism in Xinjiang.
It claimed that the camps are "vocational and educational training centres for counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation purposes".

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 9:34 AM IST

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