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Uighur women subjected to systematic rape in Xinjiang camps: Report
Uyghur Rapes
Image credit: World Uyghur Congress Instagram video grab

Uighur women subjected to systematic rape in Xinjiang camps: Report

| @indiablooms | 06 Feb 2021, 11:41 am

London: An investigative report published by BBC has revealed that women in China's "re-education" camps for Uighurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured.

The men always wore masks even though there was no pandemic then, said one of the victims,Tursunay Ziawudun, reports BBC.

She said these men wore suits which were not police uniforms.

Ziawudun told the news channel these men also took her.

"Perhaps this is the most unforgettable scar on me forever," she said.

She had spent nine months in China's secretive system of internment camps in the Xinjiang region.

According to independent estimates, more than a million men and women have been detained in the sprawling network of camps, which China says exist for the "re-education" of the Uighurs and other minorities, reports BBC,

Tursunay Ziawudun, who fled Xinjiang after her release and is now in the US, told BBC women were removed from the cells "every night" and raped by one or more masked Chinese men.

It is impossible to verify Ziawudun's account completely because of the severe restrictions China places on reporters in the country, but travel documents and immigration records she provided to the BBC corroborate the timeline of her story.

Her descriptions of the camp in Xinyuan county - known in Uighur as Kunes county - match satellite imagery analysed by the BBC, and her descriptions of daily life inside the camp, as well as the nature and methods of the abuse, correspond with other accounts from former detainees.

Internal documents from the Kunes county justice system from 2017 and 2018, provided to the BBC by Adrian Zenz, a leading expert on China's policies in Xinjiang, detail planning and spending for "transformation through education" of "key groups" - a common euphemism in China for the indoctrination of the Uighurs. In one Kunes document, the "education" process is described as "washing brains, cleansing hearts, strengthening righteousness and eliminating evil".

A Kazakh woman from Xinjiang who was detained for 18 months in the camp system, told BBC she was forced to strip Uighur women naked and handcuff them, before leaving them alone with Chinese men.

"My job was to remove their clothes above the waist and handcuff them so they cannot move," said Gulzira Auelkhan

"Then I would leave the women in the room and a man would enter - some Chinese man from outside or policeman. I sat silently next to the door, and when the man left the room I took the woman for a shower," she said.

The Chinese men "would pay money to have their pick of the prettiest young inmates", she said.

The BBC report will not remain without consequences. Politicians from all over the world, united in the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), are calling for an UN-led international investigation of the crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated in Xinjiang, Bitter Winter reported.

UK reports:

A UK government minister, Nigel Adams, said in parliament on Thursday that the report showed "clearly evil acts", reports BBC.

Ziba Murat, daughter of missing Uyghur doctor Gulshan Abbas, says she texted her friend who messaged her telling her not to read the report, Campaign for Uyghurs reported.

She stated on Twitter that “as a daughter of an innocent Uyghur woman being detained, I want to ask if anyone still thinks it is fine to be bowing to China and turning their back on Uyghurs? That is equally complicit with those crimes.”

Other members of the CFU team also responded

“I read half of it and my heart is so broken that I stopped in the middle,” said Akida Pulat, CFU Outreach Director, whose own mother, renowned Uyghur scholar Rahile Dawut, has been missing since 2017. 

Program Director Babur Ilchi stated, “I read it this morning and I haven’t felt right since.”

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