It's because the claims and the documentation of the specific problems have diverged significantly, and it is well known among the small group of academics/activists who essential own this entire propaganda project. They are Bunin, Grose, Milliward, Byler, and of course, the disreputable and imbecilic Adrian Zenz.
Due to the many outrageous lies told about this situation, it's very difficult to talk about. Early on, many commentators simply assumed the very worst was happening due to anti-Chinese racism, and relied on claims by incredibly untrustworthy groups like the World Uyghur Congress, which have literally decades long history of boldly lying and outright reversing facts. For example, they claimed 600 Uyghur were killed in 2009 riots, despite overwhelming 3rd party evidence.
But I often read these above activists direct reports, because reading the first hand accounts, rather than the think-tank or journalist packaged narratives, provides a dramatically different picture and tells a different story.
Activists have separated "prisons" from "camps", which are also called Vocational Education and Training Centers. VETC are closer to schools than prisons. VETC have also emptied and closed starting in 2019/2020, signs of detention or internment (fences/towers) etc. used to verify facilities via satellite imagery have been dismantled, and the facilities are now used as fully normal school buildings, or their original function. This is supported also by testimony and lack of new testimony. Essentially, there are no more "camps".
The overwhelming majority of detentions and arrests occurred in 2017-2019, and since then, new detentions are rare and the VETC system is essentially over. So when people talk about "a million in camps", pay attention to the vague and careful way that tenses are used, to be ambiguous about whether something *is* happening, or *happened at one point*. To get to the round 1 million number, they use some low-quality methodology. They basically just triple or quadruple official numbers of *arrests*. Because of the nature of the VETC system, they don't really know. This group of scholars, even when being aggressive, make estimates of people who *remain incarcerated* in 100s of thousands, around a quarter million.
This group of people is the smaller group who remain in prison. Academics and activists are not careful to make distinctions betweenPost too long. Click here to view the full text.