GENEVA: A leading researcher on China`s ethnic policies said on Wednesday that an estimated 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslims could be held in so-called re-education centres in Xinjiang region, up from his earlier figure of 1 million.
China has faced growing international opprobrium for what it says are vocational training centres in Xinjiang, a vast region bordering central Asia that is home to millions of ethnic minority Muslims. Beijing has said the measures are needed to stem the threat of Islamist extremism.
The governor of Xinjiang, Shohrat Zakir, said on Tuesday that China is running boarding schools not concentration camps or re-education camps in the remote region.
Adrian Zenz, an independent German researcher, said that his new estimate was based on satellite images, public spending on detention facilities and witness accounts of overcrowded facilities and missing family members.