Xinjiang’s Muslims suffering torture and indoctrination

This man sits in a torture pose employed
by Chinese officials in Xinjiang in order
to persecute traditionally Muslim ethnic
minorities in the region. (Photo: ChinaAid)


(Urumqi, Xinjiang—July 1, 2018) Officials in China’s Xinjiang region are routinely arresting innocent Muslim ethnic minorities and forcing them to undergo indoctrination and torture, according to a Radio Free Asia report.

In April 2017, the local authorities began accusing Uyghurs, a traditionally Muslim ethnic group that resides in the region, of holding “politically incorrect” and “strong religious views” and began a crackdown on them that resulted in a sprawling number of re-education centers throughout the area. The prisoners can be sent to these prisons for actions such as posting Qur’an verses on social media platforms or discussing traveling abroad. Once incarcerated, they are subjected to “Electric shocks, beatings, and humiliation” and constant surveillance, even when going to the bathroom, according to Murat, a Xinjiang Muslim who spoke with Radio Free Asia about his time in one of the centers.

Human Rights Watch’s China researcher, Maya Wang, told Radio Free Asia, “The authorities force the detainees to accept this so-called education, which is political indoctrination. Before they eat, they have to wish [President] Xi Jinping good health, or thank the government and thank the party, before they are allowed to eat anything.”

She also said they must study China’s writing system. Anyone who asks questions is punished either by being placed in solitary confinement and starved or are physically abused.

Radio Free Asia also quoted Dilxat Raxit, a representative of the World Uyghur Congress, saying that the government is employing new video facial recognition technology to register the expressions of the prisoners and predict their actions.

Uyghurs are not the only ethnic minority caught up in the crackdown. Credible reports, referenced by Congressman Chris Smith and Senator Marco Rubio, estimate that more than 500,000, and perhaps as many as 1 million, people have been incarcerated. Rubio and Smith said it is “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”

Adrian Zenz, a research methods expert with knowledge of the situations, estimates that the total number may account for roughly 10 percent of the area’s Muslim population.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

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