[TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, torture] Uighur woman survives China’s ‘re-education’ camp, alleges systematic rape, torture

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Women in China’s “re-education” camps are being systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured, BBC reported, detailing accounts of one of the survivors.   

China has admitted the camp’s existence; however, according to the government, they exist for the “re-education” of the Uighurs and other minorities. 

Tursunay Ziawudun, who spent nine months inside China’s “re-education” camps, told BBC: “The men always wore masks, even though there was no pandemic then. … They wore suits, not police uniforms.”

Photo: Courtesy of BBC News

According to the recounted events, men came to women’s cells after midnight daily, would select the ones they wanted and took them down the corridor to a “black room,” where there were no surveillance cameras. There, they would be raped by one or more masked Chinese men. 

Ziawudun, who spent nine months in one of the internment camps in the Xinjiang region, was tortured and gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men.  

“Perhaps this is the most unforgettable scar on me forever, I don’t even want these words to spill from my mouth,” Ziawudun told BBC. 

To date, more than a million men and women have been detained in these “re-education” camps, the exclusive reported, citing independent estimates. Though human rights groups allege mass surveillance, detention, indoctrination, and forced sterilization at these camps, China denies them “lies and absurd allegations.” 

Women were forcibly fitted with IUDs or sterilized, and were forced to take unexplained medical tests, pills, and injected with a “vaccine,” Ziawudun told BBC. 

A former camp guard also spoke to BBC and said that people were forced to memorise passages from books about Xi Jinping. Food was withheld if the person did not memorize accurately. Those who failed the tests would be forced to wear different colours based on whether they had failed one, two, or three times. People were subjected to other punishments as well, such as food deprivation and beatings.

A kindergarten school for Uighurs children. (Photo: Courtesy of Vice News documentary on China’s secret camps)

According to the Guardian, China has built 400 internment camps in Xinjiang region. In 2019, NBC News received access to one of these camps. In the chilling video, Chinese authorities said that the camps stopped Uighur Muslims from becoming extremists by offering free job training. 

China has been accused of violating human rights for several years now. There are dozens of stories from personal accounts from people that have experienced these camps. This is not the first time that a report from these “re-education” camps has surfaced and accused the Chinese authorities of raping, beating, torturing, and committing mass genocide against Uighurs, one of China’s minorities. 

In 2019, Insider reported that China runs a “Pair Up and Become Family” program where Han Chinese men were paid to go to China’s western region of Xinjian to live with Uighur women. Many of those women were reported to have husbands who were detained in the detention centers. 

Google Earth image of camps. (Photo: Courtesy of ABC Caption). 

According to the report, under the program designed in 2017, Chinese officials lived with Uighur families, sharing meals, political ideologies, and beds. 

Radio Free Asia published an article in 2019, detailing accounts of a witness who had overseen the program. 

China’s vanishing Muslims: Undercover in the most dystopian place in the world (2019) Vice documentary. 

Featured Image: Courtesy of Tursunay Ziawudun/BBC

Wiki Production Code: A0566

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