Amid abuse accusations, Xinjiang gets new leader

Tuniyaz is a defender of Chinese policies

China has appointed a new Governor for Xinjiang, where the ruling Communist Party is accused of carrying out mass detentions and other abuses against members of the Uighur and other Muslim minority groups.

A former Vice-Governor, Erkin Tuniyaz, 59, an ethnic Uighur, gained some notoriety for delivering a vociferous defence of Chinese policies in the northwestern region, particularly the use of facilities critics call detention centres but which China says are intended for vocational training and deradicalisation and turning the region’s residents away from terrorism and extremism.

In his February video address to the United Nations, Mr. Tuniyaz said: “All trainees of these facilities had graduated” by October 2019 and now had “stable jobs and are living a normal life.”

Observers say the camp system has been expanded with more permanent facilities, while ex-detainees say they were subjected to brutal conditions and political indoctrination intended to separate them from their traditional culture and religion.

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