Days after drone video footage showed hundreds of blindfolded Uighur Muslim prisoners with shaved heads being led by Chinese military officers onto trains, a New York Times video investigation has revealed China is using Uighur slave labor to produce medical masks.
There are 51 Chinese companies in Xinjiang province that have been producing medical equipment to deal with the pandemic. Of those, 17 have been identified as using the forced labor practices.
China has defended the labor program, contending that it is not slavery, but rather a jobs plan that helps "local residents rise above poverty through employment and lead fulfilling lives."
Besides the apparent slave labor system, China has established large detention facilities where it has imprisoned roughly 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims. Reports of forced sterilization, abortion, torture, and other human rights abuses have all emerged from the camps.
China has continued to defend its conduct, claiming the alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims and other minorities is necessary to "prevent terrorism."