China accused of genocide over forced abortions, rape, and sexual torture of Uyghur women

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China accused of genocide over forced abortions, rape, and sexual torture of Uyghur women

JESSICA AYA HARN /

7TH OCTOBER 2019


Advertise with Halal.Ad As reports of sexual torture, rape, and forced abortions by Chinese authorities continue to emerge from escaped Ugyhur women who were held in the numerous detention camps across the northwestern province of Xinjiang, human rights groups are now calling the Chinese campaign against the Muslim Uyghur population of the country as a genocide.

The US-based Campaign for Uyghurs’ executive director Rushan Abbas adamantly claims that what the Chinese authorities are conducting against the Uyghurs amounts to genocide, especially when it comes to women:

As with so much in Chinese culture, women are being targeted, as they are viewed as less valuable.”

Abbas’ sister was abducted by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang more than a year ago, and has not been heard from since. This is but one example of the millions of Uyghurs being detained in what China calls “re-education” camps, which are being called by human rights groups as the largest mass incarceration of peoples since the Holocaust.

Many Uyghur women, who managed to escape or seek refugee, have regrouped in neighboring Kazakhstan. Most report experiences of either rape, sexual abuse, forced abortions, and even forced sterilization. Gulzira Mogdyn, speaking to The Independent, spoke of her forced abortion after being detained in Xinjiang. Placed under house arrest after authorities found WhatsApp on her phone, she was forced to go under a medical examination when they found her 10 weeks pregnant with her fourth child:

[The doctors] cut my fetus out. Two humans were lost in this tragedy – my baby and me.” Another woman, Ruqiye Perhat, spoke of the systematic rape that occurs while being detained by Chinese authorities. Held in various prisons across China for four years following the 2009 Uyghur protests against the Chinese government, Perhat describes being raped numerous times by Han Chinese officials. Other women describe similar experiences, with stories of younger and unmarried women being taken away from their packed cells at night only to be “returned” the next day.

An open letter by a former guard at one of the Xinjiang detention camps seems to verify the accounts of these women. Written by an ethnic Kazakh man named Berik, he describes Chinese officials watching the women detainees through a monitor before choosing which one to rape:

There are two tables in the kitchen, one for snacks and liquor, and the other for ‘doing things’.”

Reports of forced sterilizations are also widespread; in many cases the women are forced to swallow unknown pills without an explanation. Only later do they find out that they have been sterilized without their knowledge. Women also report of sexual torture and abuse while detained, with stories of being forced to having their intimate parts rubbed with chilli paste.

China’s abuse of not only the Uyghur population and religious minorities but of women in particular showcases a common but brutal aspect of genocide: the targeted rape and torture of women attempts to ensure the entire bloodline of the ethnicity is corrupted and abused for the future generations to come. Targeted rape, forced abortions, and sexual torture all fall under clear examples of genocide. Stopping women, both physically and psychologically from reproducing, has become China’s newest brutality in its campaign against Uyghurs.

Aiman Umarova, a Kazakh human rights advocate, sees China’s abuse of Uyghur women as a systematic and targeted campaign against the entire Muslim population of the country:

Sexually violating women, including stopping them from reproducing, has become a weapon for China against its Muslim population.”

China’s continued abuse of Uyghur Muslims remains of the most horrifying cases of human rights abuses in modern history. Claiming to target Uyghur Muslims in order to combat foreign terrorism and extremism, China’s detention camps across the northwestern province of Xinjiang have been at the center of an almost uncountable number of humanitarian abuses. Women across the world have often been the most vulnerable during times of war and oppression, and as seen in the case of China, Uyghur women are at the heart of the targeted abuse towards the Muslims of the country.

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