International

To Not Be Free

China Detained At Least A Million Uyghur Muslims And No One Is Talking About It

By: Kylie Hapuarachchi

Uygur Muslims in internment camps are facing absolute abuse by Chinese officials. Credit: bbc.com

Since early April of 2017, Uyghur Muslims and others have been forcefully imprisoned by Chinese officials. They have been placed into camps where torture and all forms of cruel punishment have occurred to innocent men, women, and children. 

Yet, there has been very little spoken about this. According to the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby, who claimed that “There is mass detention of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang),” these internment camps are a place of horrors for those imprisoned behind their walls.

There is data estimating around 85 camps within Xinjiang―an autonomous zone in Northwestern China. Within the walls of these camps, there is an estimation of millions of Uygurs as well as any other Muslim minority that is in China. 

The use of the camps was originally denied by the Chinese government, however, when images leaked of their camps, they began to explain how it was a re-education program they were implementing on the Uygur Muslims.

Men, women, and children have all faced the harshest cruelties. All those within the camp have been left in horrifying conditions such as chained to their beds in soiled and very little clothing.

Women have been subjected to forceful birth control methods. Chinese officials have mandated intrauterine devices, sterilization (a permanent form of birth control known as tubal litigation which is the tying of the fallopian tubes), and in some cases forced abortions.

Children have not been spared from the harsh reality of the internment camps either. While their parents have been sent to camps, they have been sent to boarding schools that were recently introduced in Xinjiang. They are completely separated from their family. There is a fear of mass brainwashing occurring to these children.

A fear that the Uygur Muslims that leave these schools will be more loyal to the party and the nation. Their main focus for the children is to assimilate them. 

This campaign is using past policies from Canada, the USA, and Australia where they took indigenous children from their parents and brought them to residential schools to forcibly assimilate them. 

These camps are not re-education camps, but they are prisons holding innocent people and murdering them. Sayragul Sauytbay, a woman who had been forced to work in the camps, explained the details of what occurred behind the iron curtains of the camps. 

She witnessed an older woman being skinned alive while her nails were ripped off because she had shown a minor act of defiance. 

In another circumstance, she saw guards rape a woman because it was part of the confession. Many of the prisoners have complained of memory loss and infertility issues after being injected with mystery substances. 

Sauytbay explains about this room the prisoners nicknamed the “black room” because the stories that occur in there are not to be spoken of. Some of the tortures that occurred include sitting on a chair full of nails, a beating by electrified truncheons, and having their skin and nails torn off. 

The living conditions of the inmates are uninhabitable. 20 prisoners are placed in a room 50 ft by 50 ft large. There is a single bucket that is used as a toilet. 

Covid-19 is rampant in these camps too. As the number of cases increases every day, and with the absolute horror that this camp has put upon these people, all we can know for sure is that they will continue to perish. 

The number of cases within the camps is not being publicly announced however one can infer with the conditions they are facing there most likely is a spike or has been continuous spikes of Covid-19. 

In the 21st century, we are seeing people having their human rights taken from them. They are stripped of their humanity and respect. 

Men, women, and children, are being hurt and damaged physically and psychologically by the government that is supposed to be there to ensure protection. In reality, they are the destruction. 

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