A demonstrator steps on a poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong during a protest of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and Turkish nationalists to denounce China's treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims during a deadly riot in July 2009 in Urumqi, in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul, on July 5, 2018. Nearly 200 people died during a series of violent riots that broke out on July 5, 2009 over several days in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China, between Uighurs and Han people.
A glimpse of a concentration camp in China
This photo taken on May 31, 2019 shows a watchtower on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, on the outskirts of Hotan, in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. As many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are believed to be held in a network of internment camps in Xinjiang, but China has not given any figures and describes the facilities as "vocational education centres" aimed at steering people away from extremism.
People protest at an Uighur rally in February 2019
People protest at a Uighur rally on February 5, 2019 in front of the US Mission to the United Nations, to encourage the State Department to fight for the freedom of the majority-Muslim Uighur population unjustly imprisoned in Chinese concentration camps.
An Uighur man walking towards a mosque as the local police look on
Uighur men walk towards the Id Kah mosque for Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region early on June 5, 2019. While Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramadan with early morning prayers and festivities, the destruction of dozens of mosques in Xinjiang highlights the increasing pressure Uighurs and other ethnic minorities face in the heavily-policed region.
A demolished building right next to a mosque
Two Uighur men walk through the rubble of a recently demolished building next to a mosque in a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority neighborhood in Urumqi, the capital of China's historically troubled Xinjiang province. China's aggressive Han colonization and discriminatory policies in the province have caused a resurgence of ethnic violence, including assassinations, riots and bombings, against the state by Muslim Chinese, or Uighurs. According to an official document from the Party Central Committee in 1996, the rise in violent forms of opposition and urban terrorist campaigns against the Party by ethno-nationalist separatists in Xinjiang could eventually influence the whole country's stability.
Uighur students listen as their teacher reads an Arabic text
Uighur students listen as their teacher reads an Arabic text in a classroom at Urumqi's No.14 Uighur Middle school, in the capital of China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region. Though the Chinese constitution promises the right to Xinjiang's 47 recognised minorities to study in their own languages, in reality, Mandarin is crucial to everyday life as the province becomes increasingly "Sinoised." According to official data, the population of ethnic-Chinese Han in Xinjiang has grown from 300,000 or eight percent in 1949 to about 6.6 million or 38.4 percent last year.
The graves of Muslim Uighurs at the Emin Mosque
This photo taken on June 27, 2013 shows the graves of Muslim Uighurs at the Emin Mosque in the town of Turpan, Xinjiang Province.
People protest at a Uighur rally on February 5, 2019 in front of the US Mission to the United Nations
People protest at a Uighur rally in front of the US Mission to the United Nations, to encourage the State Department to fight for the freedom of the majority-Muslim Uighur population unjustly imprisoned in Chinese concentration camps.