After their parents are taken away to “transformation through education” camps, the children are often left unsupervised. Authorities are now building shelter houses for them.
Bitter Winter has recently learned of the existence of a shelter house in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang. This shelter house is for Muslim children who have been left on their own after their parents were taken away to “study” at camps. The main building at the facility is five stories high, and another one is two-story high.
According to our sources, the house was officially put into use on August 18. Within two days, 89 children were already living there. The oldest amongst them was an 18-year-old, and the youngest was 3. The children come from various ethnicities such as Uyghur, Kazakh, and Sibe. As per reports, the children living there are emotionally unstable, and the young ones often cry, wanting to go back home.
As with their parents’ living conditions in camps, these children too are subject to round the clock surveillance. They have to go through various checks before entering or exiting, and cameras have been installed throughout the facility. The perimeter fence is about three meters high and is fitted with barbed wire.
Rooms inside the dormitories are equipped with helmets and other riot control gear. Posters with phrases like “I’m Chinese, I love my country” and “Always follow the Party, build the Chinese dream together” have been put on the walls.
Currently, there are more than 30 teachers at the facility. They have been brought here from various schools nearby and did not have the right to refuse. They are forced to give the children an atheistic and “Sinicized” education so that they stay away from religion from a young age.
There are also several “drillmasters” at the house that provide military training to children. These drillmasters have the authority to subject disobedient children to corporal punishment.
At present, construction is still underway at the facility that covers an area of more than eight acres.
Reported by Li Zaili
The fence with barbed wire surrounding the “shelter house”: