Uighurs are subjected to “mass detention and torture” in Xinjiang, Amnesty International says

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The NGO Amnesty International (AI), adding to the many international criticisms related to the abuses perpetrated against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang released This Thursday (10), a report in which he accused the Chinese authorities of committing “crimes against humanity”.

hey report good The 160-page book offers new testimony by former detainees about China’s actions against Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities. It is the second major NGO to sound the alarm this year, after Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the Chinese government of committing “crimes against humanity” in April.

According to the report, the practices adopted by the Chinese government since 2017 are aimed at eradicating “religious traditions, cultural practices and local languages ​​of Muslim ethnic groups in the region” under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

“Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellish scene in Xinjiang’s Uyghur Autonomous Region on an impressive scale,” said Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International.

The secretary also points out that the international community should be aware of the seriousness of the abuses in the region: “It should shock the conscience of humanity that large numbers of people are subjected to brainwashing, torture and torture in detention camps.” Others have been subjected to degrading treatment, while millions more are living in fear amid a vast surveillance system.”

what does the report say

The report described how hundreds of thousands of people from ethnic minorities were arbitrarily detained, some sent to prisons and others to re-education camps.

50 former detainees interviewed by Amnesty International were arrested for apparently legal conduct in other circumstances, such as possessing a religious-themed photograph or communicating with someone abroad. Preliminary interrogation by police was carried out, according to testimony, in steel chairs with leg irons and handcuffs that held the body in a painful position known as the “tiger chair”.

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Beating, sleep deprivation and overcrowding are also common in police stations, and detainees have been reported to be hooded and handcuffed during interrogation and transfer.

From the moment they entered the re-education camps, the life of the prisoners was extraordinarily disciplined.

A woman arrested for installing WhatsApp on her cell phone said: “[Todo dia] You wake up at 5 a.m. and you have to make the bed, and it must be perfect. Then the flag hoisting ceremony and the ‘oath’. Then you go to the cafeteria for breakfast. Then in class. Then lunch. Then in class. Then dinner. Then second grade. Then bed. Every night two people had to stay ‘on duty’ [monitorando os outros companheiros de cela] For two hours… you don’t have a minute left. you are tired.”

Forced re-education includes rejecting Islam, abandoning the use of vernacular languages, in addition to studying Mandarin and Chinese Communist Party propaganda. They are rarely able to exercise or have access to the outdoors.

In addition, punishments such as beatings, shocks, solitary confinement, lack of food, water and sleep, or exposure to extreme cold, among other forms of torture and abuse, were also reported.

Amnesty International also reported that one detainee may have died after being in a “tiger chair” in front of his cellmates for 72 hours.

Apart from all these abuses, the Muslim population in Xinjiang is one of the most visited in the world and many hide any outward signs that they follow Islam. According to the report, a ban was also imposed on Quran, prayer mat and other religious items.

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China claims that the camps are no longer used and that former detainees were employed in the area. There has been a sustained effort in recent years by the Chinese government to negate the abuses against minorities in Xinjiang. Including with accusations that Uighur women were happier after re-education, as they were no longer “baby factories”.

The US government, led by both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, is pressing Beijing for a transparent response. acts against Muslim minorities previously classified as “genocide” and “crimes against humanity”; The second, in the form of “genocide”, through its Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

In March, EU, UK, USA and Canada sanctions announced Against China for mistreatment of Uighurs. Looking for Asian country fight these restrictions, claiming damages caused by “interference in internal affairs”.

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard urges international organizations to conduct an independent investigation to hold those responsible: “The United Nations must immediately establish an independent investigative mechanism and hold suspects responsible for crimes in accordance with international law.” needed”.

About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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