Gross Human Rights Abuse of Uyghur in Xinjiang

A former Chinese detective nicknamed ‘Jiang’ has termed some Chinese
security officials involved in intimidating, harassing and arresting Uyghur
people in Xinjiang as “psychopaths”. Jiang, a whistleblower, has described in
detail the process of arrest, intimidation, physical assault on Uyghur inflicted
by the Chinese police in a detailed interview to CNN (5 October 2021). This is
another instance in the long list of crimes committed by the Chinese state on
the Uyghur peoples of Xinjiang, much of it tantamount to genocide. The
investigative CNN report is telling indictment of the Chinese way of torture
and abuse of the human rights of the Uyghur.
The graphic detailing of the midnight raids describes armed police officers
raiding community homes. One by one people are handcuffed, hooded and
pulled out of their homes for transportation to the local detention centres and
subsequently, to the infamous re-education camps. Jiang states that arrests
were made in large numbers, in fact several hundreds were normally picked
up in one swoop. There is no particular crime for which ordinary people are
detained and charged. This means that detained persons are given no reasons
for arrest and taken away without any recourse to legal redressal. The three hour long interview with CNN, provides details of the arbitrary detention of
Uyghur across Xinjiang. Jiang describes it as a “systematic campaign” of
torture against ethnic Uyghur in the detention camps.
Jiang recalls that he and his colleagues brutally interrogated many people,
mostly ordinary Uyghur, beating them mercilessly. In many cases, the
beatings were so severe that the detainee passed away. Tragically, the Chinese
state did not spare women and even children, and every new detainee was
beaten up on entry. People were shackled to a metal or wooden “tiger chairs”
and subject to sexual violence, electrocution and beating with clubs and
waterboarding. Jiang’s recollections are echoed by the experiences of two
Uyghur victims that CNN had interviewed separately. Additionally, more than
50 former inmates of the camp system who have provided testimony to
Amnesty International for the 160-page report released in June 2021, “Like
We Were Enemies in a War’: China’s Mass Internment, Torture, and
Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang” broadly confirms the facts provided by
The main objective of the detention of large number of Uyghur was to get them
to confess to an imaginary crime, so that they could be packed off to a re-education centre. That is why the interrogation was intense and brutal. Jiang
states: “If you want people to confess, you use the electric baton with two
sharp tips on top,” adding that, “We would tie two electrical wires on the tips
and set the wires on their genitals while the person is tied up.” This was
standard operating procedure across Xinjiang. That is why Jiang claims that
some of the police personnel were “psychopaths.” Persons interviewed by
Amnesty International for its report said they were detained without specific
charges. Detainees were informed that they had been classified as
“suspicious” or “untrustworthy” or as a “terrorist” or an “extremist”, which
was justification enough to be arrested. Amnesty interviewed 55 former camp
internees, all of whom had the same experience of arbitrary detention. Many
were detained without formal warning and whisked away in the middle of the
night. Others were called by the police or by their village administration office
and told to report to a police station, often under the pretence of being
requested to hand in their passport and then detained once they arrived.
Many detainees were tortured and ill-treated during the interrogations in
police stations before being transferred to the camps. Interrogations and
torture were often carried out by members of the domestic security police,
(Guobao) and sometimes the local police. Former detainees were often
interrogated in “tiger chairs”, steel chairs with affixed leg irons and handcuffs
that restrain the body, often in painful positions, to an extent that it is
essentially immobile. Some detainees were hooded and shackled during
interrogations. Jiang reveals that it was common knowledge among police
officers serving in Xinjiang that 900,000 Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities
were detained in the region in a single year.
The persecution of Uyghur in Xinjiang began officially with the 2015 official
directive issued by President Xi Jinping, which inter alia, called on other
provinces of China to join the fight against terrorism in the country “to convey
the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions when
listening to the report on counter-terrorism work.” To fulfill this directive,
150,000 police assistants were recruited from other provinces under a scheme
known as “Aid Xinjiang.” The programme encouraged other provinces to
provide help to Xinjiang, including public security resources. This temporary
posting for police personnel was financially rewarding, Jiang said. He received
double his normal salary and other benefits during his deployment.
If the conditions of initial detention and interrogation in the local police
stations were bad, things were worse in the internment (re-education) camps.
First-hand accounts from several former detainees and a guard (as recorded
by the BBC) shows that internees experienced or saw evidence of an organised
system of mass rape, sexual abuse, and torture. Similarly, the interview of a
Kazakh woman from Xinjiang (by the BBC) shows that she was forced to strip
Uyghur women naked and handcuff them, before leaving them alone with
Chinese men! According to the evidence Amnesty International has gathered
members of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been
subject to intense physical and psychological attack. The conditions thus
prevailing meet all the contextual elements of crimes against humanity under
international law.
The perpetrators acting on behalf of the Chinese state, have carried out a
widespread and systematic attack consisting of a planned, massive,
organized, and systematic pattern of serious violations directed at the civilian
population in Xinjiang says Amnesty International. This and other evidence,
including the statement made by former police officer Jiang, provides the
factual basis for concluding that China has committed several crimes against
humanity, including imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical
liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; torture; and
persecution. The question is whether the world will act against China?

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