Tags: concentrationcamps | China | Uighur

BBC: Chinese Concentration Camp Victims Are Raped, Tortured

BBC: Chinese Concentration Camp Victims Are Raped, Tortured
A protest against the Chinese government's policies on Muslim Uighur minorities, in Mumbai on November 12, 2020. (Punit Paranjpe /AFP via Getty Images

By    |   Thursday, 04 February 2021 03:44 PM

Uighur Muslims, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minorities who have survived China’s concentration camps say women were regularly tortured and raped by Chinese government agents, BBC reports.

According to a report published Wednesday by BBC, survivors and witnesses said they saw or endured rape. They reported the use of electric batons to rape and torture women. 

China has been operating concentration camps in the Xinjiang region since at least 2018, according to the outlet. The U.S. government estimates that about 2 million people are still imprisoned. The camps likely housed up to 3 million people at its peak, Breitbart reports. 

China claims the camps are vocational training centers where minorities learn skills. But survivors told BBC that they experienced systematic rape while detained. Tursunay Ziawudun said she was gang-raped routinely. 

She told BBC that women are raped “every night” and they would hear screaming while they waited for their turn. She said she was raped by an electric stick and bit all over her body. “They don’t only rape but also bite all over your body, you don’t know if they are human or animal … They didn’t spare any part of the body, they bit everywhere leaving horrible marks. It was disgusting to look at,” she said.

Qelbinur Sedik, an ethnic Uzbek, told the BBC that she saw four kinds of electric torture: “the chair, the glove, the helmet, and anal rape with a stick.”

She was a Chinese language teachers brought into the camps and coerced into giving lessons to the detainees. She said the women's camp was "tightly controlled," but she saw signs of rape. She asked a Chinese camp policewoman about what she knew. The policewoman told her that "rape has become a culture."

"It is gang rape and the Chinese police not only rape them but also electrocute them,"the policewoman told Sedik. "They are subject to horrific torture."

A Kazakh woman, Gulzira Auelkhan, told BBC she was forced to take off victims’ clothes and restrain them before they were attacked.

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

The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly denied these claims.

“People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live in peace and contentment, unity and harmony, and … all their legal rights are effectively guaranteed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday after BBC released its report. “The BBC report on alleged abuses of women’s rights in Xinjiang you mentioned has no factual basis at all. There are simply no ‘re-education camps.'”

Wang called the survivors “actors.”

On Thursday, Wang shared a propaganda initiative Beijing organized at the United Nations called “Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Land.” Wang said concentration camp survivors discussed their happy lives in the camps in videos played at the event.

“Representatives of graduated trainees from former vocational education and training centers appeared at the event and told stories of how they were influenced by extremism and how their lives have been changed after learning skills and graduating from the centers,” he said.

When pressed again about the BBC allegations, Wang called the concentration camps “schools.”

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Uighur Muslims, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minorities who have survived China's concentration camps say women were regularly tortured and raped by Chinese government agents...
concentrationcamps, China, Uighur
Thursday, 04 February 2021 03:44 PM
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