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VICE News Tonight on HBO

They Come For Us At Night: Inside China’s Hidden War on Uighurs

"I could be locked up for what I just told you."

by Isobel Yeung
01 July 2019, 1:49am

This article originally appeared on VICE US

You may or may not be aware that the Chinese Communist Party has been busy. Very busy. Over the past two years, an estimated 1 million Muslim Uighurs have been rounded up and placed in so-called "re-education camps."

It's extremely difficult to report from the Uighur homeland of China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Journalists are followed wherever they go and prevented from visiting certain places or speaking with locals. So we posed as tourists and snuck in wearing hidden cameras. Twice.

What we witnessed was an Orwellian state unlike any place on earth. We got a chilling, up-close look at how the Chinese government is using the world's most advanced surveillance technology to spy on every aspect of Uighur life, and how Uighur men are taken away by the police in the middle of the night.

Most disturbingly of all, we learned how many Uighur children are being separated from their families and brought up by the state — as if they are orphans. They're prevented from speaking in their native tongue and indoctrinated with Party propaganda. The goal of all this is clear: the total erasure of an entire religion, culture and ethnicity, and unwavering loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party itself.

This segment originally aired June 27, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.