China condemned on 9 December the Uyghyr bill passed last week by the United States’ House of Representatives, after foreign countries accused it of violating international law.

The so-called “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019” requires a stronger response to Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority.

It was passed after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published classified documents revealing details of China’s oppression on ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region, that began in 2017. The documents show that, the mass detention camps, described by Beijing as voluntary job training centers, are instead, forced ideological re-education camps.

The regional governor Shohrat Zakir rejected the estimates by rights groups. Currently, those in the centres have “all completed their courses,” he said, and added that “there are people entering and exiting.”

China’s embassy in the United Kingdom has defended its re-education camps, saying the documents were fabricated. On 9 December, Bejing said it would continue “training” residents.

“All ethnic groups of Xinjiang express strong condemnation and resolute opposition to this,” Zakir said, denouncing the US Uighur rights bill.

“The counter-terrorism measures in Xinjiang are no different from anti-terrorism measures in the United States”, he added.

Accusations about the camps are hard to verify as only periodic supervised visits are allowed.