Authorities in Lop county of Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture are strictly supervising about 2,000 Uyghur children from families whose both parents had been taken to “transformation through education” camps.
Families whose both parents were arrested have become a common occurrence in Xinjiang, and such families even have a name now – “double-detained families.” The number of separated children from their parents has been rising dramatically since the beginning of this year.
According to government insiders, to manage the children that had been left alone, the authorities have built several schools where they are being indoctrinated through “Sinicized” education. In Lop county, nearly 2,000 children of “double-detained families” have been placed in specially established nurseries and kindergartens.
Of those, more than 150 children, one to three-years-old, are kept at the Xinhua Loving Heart Boarding Kindergarten. Over 500 children (aged 3-6 years) are supervised at Yudu Loving Heart Kindergarten.
According to informed sources, these children live in a fully-enclosed environment. The gates of the kindergarten are usually locked, and the surrounding fence is fitted with barbed wire, like in a high-security prison. The children are rarely taken outside to play, restricting their movements to the school premises. They can only see their parents once a month through a video call, during which most of the children cry in extreme anguish.
Lop County No. 3 Elementary School has more than 900 students (aged 7-16), most of whom are Uyghur children. This school, too, is heavily guarded. An iron railing and a protective wall surround the school. Sidewalks on both sides are blocked with barriers to prevent pedestrians from approaching. Across from the school, there is a police affairs office, and its officers inspect passing vehicles and observe the surrounding area at all times.
Reported by Li Zaili