Those who have been paying attention to what is happening in China over the past few years are probably well aware of the Xinjiang situation. Of course, it is always good to have a few reminders of what is taking place from the mainstream media. The conditions inside these camps must be discussed with the outside world. The latest report from Amnesty International, in conjunction with the BBC, is telling:
“In a report published on Thursday, Amnesty called on the UN to investigate, and said China had subjected Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims to mass detention, surveillance, and torture.
Agnès Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, accused Chinese authorities of creating “a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale”.
“It should shock the conscience of humanity that massive numbers of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps, while millions more live in fear amid a vast surveillance apparatus,” Ms Callamard said.”
While we have yet to read through the entire 160-page report, there are a few excerpts that have caught our attention. The executive summary concluded that the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of various crimes against humanity. This particular excerpt is a chilling one:
“According to the evidence Amnesty International has gathered, corroborated by other reliable sources, members of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been subjected to an attack meeting all the contextual elements of crimes against humanity under international law.
The evidence Amnesty has seen therefore provides a factual basis for the conclusion that 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. Amnesty International believes the evidence it has collected provides a factual basis for the conclusion that the Chinese government has committed at least the following crimes against humanity: imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; torture; and persecution.”
As the report continues, we are given more and more details about the atrocities. Islam is now illegal and the government has gone so far as to rename babies:
“Weddings are now held according to the instructions of government. In our tradition, the imam reads verses [from the Qur’an] and gives names to newborn babies, but now it is [a government official] who give names and there is no reciting the Qur’an… And there are forbidden names [to give to your children], the Islamic names… They also started to change the names of people who already had Islamic names, like ‘Mohammed.”
All of this sounds nightmarish. Families have government minders living with them and these people report back on their behavior. While this sounds truly awful, those who were taken away to the camps were treated far worse. The police interrogations were brutal and they are not given any explanation as to what is happening to them. Listen to these conditions:
“At 6am they let us go out one by one to wash and use the toilet… There was a bucket in the cell… Even in the morning there was no guarantee we’ll be let out [to use the toilet]. Sometimes we went 24 hours without being allowed to use the toilet… The bucket was for [urinating]; if you had to [defecate] then you had to use the intercom and they would send two guards… and then you went out under the chain. Here you had to squat and put hands on head [when you exited the cell]… the process was like in a prison.”
Even the sleeping arrangements sound terrible:
“The lights [in the cell] were always on. At 10pm we had to lie in bed. Two cellmates were on night watch. From 10 to 12, 12 to 2, 2 to 4, and 4 to 6… these two people are [always] walking between the window and the door. Their job was watching us. At night we had to sleep with head facing the camera and face uncovered. And, if not, they woke us and put us in the right position.”
How much longer can the rest of the world allow this to go on? China is living in their own personal hell….