Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of
terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in the context of war against non-combatants (mostly civilians and neu ...
suspects". Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to refer to preventive confinement rather than confinement ''after'' having been convicted of some crime. Use of these terms is subject to debate and political sensitivities. Internment is also occasionally used to describe a neutral country's practice of detaining belligerent armed forces and equipment on its territory during times of war, under the Hague Convention of 1907. Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as ''internment camps,'' also known as ''concentration camps''. The term ''concentration camp'' originates from the Spanish–Cuban Ten Years' War when Spanish forces detained Cuban civilians in camps in order to more easily combat guerrilla forces. Imperialist powers over the following decades continued to use concentration camps (the British during the Second Boer War and the Americans during the Philippine–American War). The term "concentration camp" or "internment camp" is used to refer to a variety of systems that greatly differ in their severity, mortality rate, and architecture; their defining characteristic is that inmates are held outside the rule of law. Extermination camps or death camps, whose primary purpose is killing, are also imprecisely referred to as "concentration camps". The Universal Declaration of Human Rights restricts the use of internment, with Article 9 stating, "No one shall be subjected to Arbitrary arrest and detention, arbitrary arrest, detention (imprisonment), detention or exile."

Defining internment and concentration camp

The ''American Heritage Dictionary'' defines the term ''concentration camp'' as: "A camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group which the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable." Although the first example of civilian internment may date as far back as the 1830s, the English term ''concentration camp'' was first used in order to refer to the ''reconcentrados'' (reconcentration camps) which were set up by the Spain under the Restoration, Spanish military in Cuba during the Ten Years' War (1868–1878). The label was applied yet again to camps set up by the United States during the Philippine–American War (1899–1902). And expanded usage of the ''concentration camp'' label continued, when the British concentration camps, British set up camps during the Second Boer War (1899–1902) in South Africa for interning Boers during the same time period. During the 20th century, the arbitrary internment of civilians by the state reached its most extreme forms in the Soviet Union, Soviet List of Gulag camps, Gulag system of concentration camps (1918–1991) and the Nazi concentration camps (1933–1945). The Soviet system was the first applied by a government on its own citizens. The Gulag consisted in over 30,000 camps for most of its existence (1918–1991) and detained some 18 million from 1929 until 1953, which is only a third of its 73-year lifespan. The Nazi concentration camp system was extensive, with as many as 15,000 camps''Concentration Camp Listing''
Sourced from Van Eck, Ludo ''Le livre des Camps.'' Belgium: Editions Kritak; and Gilbert, Martin ''Atlas of the Holocaust''. New York: William Morrow 1993 . In this online site are the names of 149 camps and 814 subcamps, organized by country.
and at least 715,000 simultaneous internees. The total number of casualties in these camps is difficult to determine, but the deliberate policy of extermination through labor in many of the camps was designed to ensure that the inmates would die of starvation, untreated disease and summary executions within set periods of time.Marek Przybyszewski
IBH Opracowania – Działdowo jako centrum administracyjne ziemi sasińskiej (Działdowo as the centre of local administration)
Internet Archive, 22 October 2010.
Moreover, Nazi Germany established six extermination camps, specifically designed to kill millions of people, primarily by Extermination camp#Gassing, gassing. As a result, the term "concentration camp" is sometimes conflated with the concept of an "extermination camp" and historians debate whether the term "concentration camp" or the term "internment camp" should be used to describe other examples of civilian internment. The former label continues to see expanded use for cases post-World War II, for instance in relation to British camps in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960) for holding and torturing Kenyans, and camps set up in Chile during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990). The United States Department of Defense claimed that as many as 3 million Uyghurs and members of other Islam in China, Muslim minority groups are being held in China's Xinjiang re-education camps, re-education camps which are located in the Xinjiang region and which American news reports often label as ''concentration camps''. The camps were established under General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping's Xi Jinping Core Administration, administration.


*American Civil War prison camps, US Civil War (1861–1865) *British concentration camps, Boer War in South Africa (1900–1902) *Deir ez-Zor Camps, Concentration of Armenians during the Armenian Genocide (1915–1916) *Finnish Civil War prison camps (1918) *Nazi concentration camps, German concentration camps before and during World War II (1933–1945) *Japanese internment of Europeans during World War II (−1945) *Internment of Japanese Americans, Japanese-American internment camps in World War II (1942–1946) *Japanese Canadian internment (1942–1949) *Cyprus internment camps (1946–1949) *Malayan New villages as part of the Briggs' Plan during the Malayan Emergency (1950–1960) *Operation Demetrius in Northern Ireland (1971) *Omarska camp in Bosnia, 1992 *Camp Bucca in Iraq (2003–2009) *Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (1980–2014) *Prisons in North Korea#Internment camps for political prisoners, North Korean prison camps (1948–present) *Guantanamo Bay detention camp (2002–present) *Slavery in Libya#Slavery in the post-Gaddafi era, Refugee detention centres in Libya (2011–present) *Xinjiang re-education camps, Uyghur re-education camps in China (2014–present) *Anti-gay purges in Chechnya, Anti-gay detention camps in Chechnya (2017–present) *Trump administration migrant detentions as part of immigration detention in the United States (2018–present)

See also

*Civilian internee *Extermination through labor *Extrajudicial detention *Gulag *House arrest *Labor camp *Kwalliso (North Korean political penal labour colonies) *Laogai (Chinese, "reform through labor") *Military Units to Aid Production *"Polish death camp" controversy *Prison overcrowding *Prisoner-of-war camp *Prisons in North Korea *Quasi-criminal *Re-education camp (Vietnam) *Re-education through labor *Remand (detention)


Further reading

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External links

* {{Authority control Internments, Total institutions