In August, a United Nations human rights panel announced that it had “many numerous and credible reports” that 1 million Uighurs were being held in what appeared to be a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
In October, the top Chinese official in the Xinjiang region said that the Uighur’s were being sent to “vocational education” centers to prevent terrorism.
In September, an Uighur was reportedly detained for setting his watch to the pre-Mao time zone for his western Chinese province, instead of the one unified Chinese time zone mandated by the government.
This, according to witnesses who spoke to Human Rights Watch, made him a terror suspect.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters, according to a translation provided by Reuters, “[People] should not listen to gossip or rumour, because the Xinjiang regional government, of course, understands the situation in Xinjiang best, and not some other people or organisations.”