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First person accounts of sexual violence at China’s Uyghur camps emerge, point to genocide

As first person accounts of alleged atrocities & sexual violence in China’s Uyghur camps emerge, a British lawyers' team makes a case of genocide against Xi Jinping. Shekhar Gupta examines the facts in episode 680 of Cut the Clutter.

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New Delhi: As former detainees of China’s Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang emerge with first person testimonies of the alleged use of sexual violence as a way of oppression, a team of British lawyers, commissioned by human rights organisations, makes a case of genocide against Chinese President Xi Jinping. In episode 680 of ‘Cut the Clutter’​, Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta examines the facts in detail.

In Xinjiang, the vast majority of people are Uyghurs who are Muslims, and are being subjected to a great deal of ethnic cleansing, said Gupta. There have been a lot of protests against it from western countries, including the US. “One thing that is truly bipartisan in American politics is revulsion over Chinese treatment of Uyghurs”, added Gupta.

Gupta notes that the Guardian newspaper and BBC have come up with new exposes through people who have escaped the Xinjiang camps. One of them is Tursunay Ziawudun who spent nine months inside these camps. She escaped to her native place in Kazakhstan, where she did not talk about the camps for fear of being extradited to China. She has since moved to the US and finally spoken about her experiences.

Ziawudun revealed that every night, Chinese men would come in masks and suits and select a bunch of women and rape them in a ‘black room’. She alleged that she was tortured and gangraped on three occasions by two or three men. Ziawudun particularly recalled an incident, when these Chinese men yanked an old woman’s scarf off, took off her gown and left her in her underwear.

Ziawudun also spoke of a Kazakh woman employed in these camps, whose job it was to strip the Uyghur women, put handcuffs around their wrists and hand them over to Chinese men.

Gupta added that she described how she was taken to the detention centre for the second time as the Chinese authorities told her that she needed more education but when she went in, they took off her jewellery. “Women were not allowed to wear clothes that had buttons or elastic onto them, their hair was cut short and they were made to watch propaganda movies in their phones everyday”, said Gupta, quoting Ziawudun. She also described how 14 women stayed in each cell and were sleeping on bunk beds, with a hole-in-the-floor-style toilet.

The BBC quoted Charles Parton, a former British diplomat in China and now senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, who said that this made a credible case of genocide and systematic violations in Uyghur areas.

The Global Legal Action Aid Network, World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Human Rights Project commissioned a British law firm to look at the evidence coming out of Xinjiang to see if it makes a case of genocide. A group of senior barristers at Essex court chambers led by Alison Macdonald QC have concluded a report. The group has said that there is sufficient evidence to make a case of genocide against Xi Jinping and two other officials, said Gupta.

The group also said that the evidence reviewed above suggests the “close involvement of Xi Jinping, Chen Quanguo (current Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang region) and Zhu Hailun (the Deputy Party Secretary of Xinjiang region) in initiating and implementing a range of measures which, taken together, target Uyghurs with a severity and to the extent that one could infer an intent to destroy the group as such”.

Gupta noted that former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made very strong statements criticising China for the treatment of Uyghurs. US President Joe Biden has also spoken about it, and even the British government has broken ranks with Europe on their response to China. “The Chinese problems coming out of Xinjiang about the treatment of Uyghurs are now getting complicated,” Gupta concluded.

Also read: ‘Ideological cure’ for Uyghurs, ‘no mercy’ — what leaked papers reveal about Xinjiang camps


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  1. Indian Muslims, and their leaders, are very quiet. Leaders of all the secular parties, whose heart bleeds at the distress caused ti Muslims, are all in hibernation.

  2. Muslim countries, notably OIC, and our neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh , have no problems with China. It is only the west who are jealous of China and hence they complain against the Chinese, so they say.

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