Newsweek article quoting Uyghur rights activist Jewher Ilham

Coronavirus would be ‘disastrous’ for China’s Muslim concentration camp prisoners and the world might never find out, Uyghur activist warns

David Brennan – February 18, 2020

Click here to see the original article

Coronavirus poses a serious risk to millions of inmates in China’s Muslim prison camps, where overcrowding and lack of transparency could result in “disastrous” results, according to a Uyghur human rights activist.

Jewher Ilham—the daughter of jailed Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti—said she is deeply concerned by what she described as China’s slow response to the coronavirus outbreak, particularly with regards to the western Xinjiang province where the Communist Party is suppressing majority-Muslim minority groups.

Up to 3 million people are thought to have been detained in the re-education camps there, which critics argue is part of a cultural genocide against the Muslim minority. The Communist Party government claims the camps are voluntary and required to stamp out separatist and Islamist terrorism in the restive province.

Ilham spoke to Newsweek this week from Switzerland, where she was attending the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. She warned conditions at the detention centers—described by some as concentration camps—offered the perfect chance for coronavirus to spread.

Former inmates and employees have reported systematic abuse, serious overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions inside the camps, which China maintains are voluntary vocational centers.

“If one person—let’s say a prison guard or a concentration camp guard—got infected, it could result in thousands, even millions of people getting infected,” Ilham said. “And without medical equipment, medical doctors and treatment, it could be disastrous.”

Ilham noted that the overcrowding will undermine hygiene and said she was “sure” prisoners were not being fed adequately. Combined, a significant number of those detained could have “very poor immune systems,” she said.



Germany’s Deutsche Welle article on Uyghur rights activist Jewher Ilham

Liste über gefangene Uiguren in China “lässt mich erschaudern” Esther Felden – February 21, 2020 Click here to see the original article Eine Recherche der DW und anderer Medien hat enthüllt, wie willkürlich der chinesische Staat muslimische Uiguren in Xinjiang verfolgt: ein Anruf ins Ausland, das Tragen eines Kopftuches, das Schließen


Geneva’s Le Temps article on Uyghur rights activist Jewher Ilham

Nouveaux témoignages de la répression au Xinjiang Frédéric Koller – February 19, 2020 Click here to see the original article Jewher Ilham, la fille du célèbre prisonnier politique ouïgour Ilham Tohti, est venue évoquer à Genève la situation de la région autonome du Xinjiang Enfant surnuméraire, barbe, voile, fréquentation de


Public Radio International article on Uyghur rights activist Jewher Ilham

New data on China’s detention of Uyghurs: ‘They could charge you for anything’ The World Staff – February 18, 2020 Click here to see the original article Around 1 million Uyghurs have been forcibly detained by the Chinese government in a widespread network of prisonlike facilities. Chinese authorities call the detention camps