“On an everyday basis, the policemen took the pretty girls with them, and they didn’t come back to the rooms all night.”
New reports have emerged confirming China’s horrendous human rights abuses happening in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, where more than one million ethnic minority Muslims are being held as prisoners in what many are calling the largest mass incarceration of peoples since the Holocaust.
Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese Muslim from the minority Kazakh ethnic group, was detained alongside hundreds of other Muslim minority groups, including Uyghur Muslims, in China’s detention camps in late 2017 for a period of several months.
Detailing painfully atrocious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese state, Sauytbay recalls a rampant abuse of rape on the detained women, being forced to watch gang-rapes, and being subject to numerous other forms of torture in the concentration camps scattered across the Chinese province:
The policemen ordered her to disrobe and simply raped her one after the other, in front of everyone. While they were raping her they checked to see how we were reacting. People who turned their head or closed their eyes, and those who looked angry or shocked, were taken away and we never saw them again. It was awful. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to help her.”
China’s use of rape should be internationally recognized as a weapon of genocide in its ethnic cleansing of ethnic Muslim minorities within the country, with Uyghur, Kazakh, and other Muslim minority women being specifically targeted with rape and sexual abuse. Sauytbay also describes the horrendous conditions of the concentration camps, with little to no regard for human dignity:
There were almost 20 people in a room of 16 square meters…There were cameras in their rooms, too, and also in the corridor. Each room had a plastic bucket for a toilet. Every prisoner was given two minutes a day to use the toilet, and the bucket was emptied only once a day…. [Also] on an everyday basis, the policemen took the pretty girls with them, and they didn’t come back to the rooms all night.”
Sautybay recounts as well that while in the camps, the inmates were forced to denounce Islam and recite slogans such as “Thank you to the Communist Party”, “I love China”, and “I love Xi Jinping [China’s President]”. All prisoners were additionally forced to eat pork. Managing to escape to neighboring Kazakhstan after being temporarily released from the camp, Sautybay has since been given asylum in Sweden.
Calling these concentration camps “re-education camps”, China has claimed that these camps are helping curb dangerous foreign influences and Islamic extremism within the Communist state, although human rights groups have adamantly disregarded any excuse by China as more and more reports emerge from the camps with stories of torture, forced indoctrination, forced sterilizations, and even extrajudicial killings. This all explicitly amounts to genocide, and yet much of the world remains dangerously silent as China continues to act with impunity.