The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims.
In an interview with state media, Shohrat Zakir said the “vocational education” centres were proving effective in staving off terrorism.
He said “trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colourful”.
China’s massive security crackdown in Xinjiang has sparked widespread alarm.
Rights groups say Muslims are being detained indefinitely without charge for infractions like refusing to give a DNA sample, speaking in a minority language or arguing with officials.
Officials have denied allegations that up to a million Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups are being detained, but insist that action is necessary to prevent terrorism.