*Trigger warning – mention of sexual assault and torture.*
Today, I want to bring to light the things that are going on in China’s concentration camps. Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim people have been getting detained in the Xin-Jian region of China and are being forced into government-mandated concentration camps as an excuse to re-educate them.
Official documents had been released as well by BBC Panorama but China’s UK ambassador dismissed the documents as fake news where it was shown how the inmates were locked up, indoctrinated, and punished.
A number of prisoners reported being forced to eat pork, drink alcohol, and denounce themselves as Muslims. BBC reported that the camps were high-security prisons where strict discipline and punishments are executed with no room for escape.
In fact, to even be permitted to eat, the prisoners must sing songs that promote the communist party. Syragul Sauytbay, a 41-year-old Kazakh Chinese who escaped from the camp stated that the camps were in horrible condition with a lack of health care, crowding, and almost nonexistent hygiene.
It’s estimated that were around 2,500 prisoners at the camp from the ages of 13 to 84 and were punished for everything.
“Anyone who didn’t follow the rules was punished,” Sauytbay said, adding those who didn’t learn Chinese properly or who didn’t sing the songs were also punished. Punishments included being deprived of food or getting their fingernails ripped out, or much worse than that.
Sautbay was even forced to witness a gang sexual assault while at the camp in front of 200 prisoners and the guards would often look back to see the reaction of the prisoners whereupon those who turned their heads, closed their eyes, looked angry or shocked were taken away and were never seen again.
Business Insider reported that according to Haaretz, prisoners were forced to take pills and were given shots as medical experiments but were kept in the dark as to what the procedure did. The Washington Post also reported forced abortions and contraceptives. Muslim women aren’t even allowed to wear hijab unless they’re 45 and above.
Prisoners are forced to abstain from daily religion and are told that they can’t survive without the communist party. The camps have first been on-going since 2017 and currently, over 11 million people have been placed in the camps. It was also reported that the students were only allowed to see family members once every two weeks and that they were forbidden from speaking the Uyghur language.
It’s really sad and devastating to realize that some countries are supporting such cruelty towards the Uyghur Muslims in the name of re-education. No one deserves to be persecuted for religious beliefs and it’s morally and ethically wrong and disgusting. No one deserves to suffer just because they’re Muslims or any other religion, gender, or race. They have destroyed mosques, religious symbols, and violated human rights.
This is unacceptable and we all must strive to stop such acts no matter how many other people support it. Even though the Chinese government has completely cut off contact with the outside world, depriving us of donating/aiding to those who are suffering, here are some more things that you can do to help them.
- Sign petitions such as change.org [#SaveUyghur] and this one.
- Donate in the Launchgood campaigns and at Uyghur Human Rights Project.
- Spread the word on social media. No matter how many followers you have, share it and let even that one follower of yours know about what’s going on.
- Write to your local officials to raise awareness about the happenings in Uyghur.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters in Islam and hope that Allah puts an end to their troubles and sufferings.
Sources from: Business Insider, BBC, Washington Post, and Guardian.
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