New light has been shed on the reeducation camps that China’s Communist Party deny exist. The National Press Club interviewed an Uighur woman, hearing her story of detainment and abuse.
The Uighur people are a mostly Muslim minority who reside in the Xinjiang province of China. Unwelcome and discriminated against, there are many who believe the people are being imprisoned.
Such as the United Nations Human Rights panel that claimed to have “many numerous and credible reports” that 1 million Uighurs have been detained in what appeared to be a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
Reports from the U.S. State Department show that the number could be more accurately assessed at 2 million people.
Not long ago, Xinjiang’s top official stated that the Uighur were being enrolled in “vocational education” to prevent terrorism. The official claimed participating Uighurs are “trainees.”
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi commented on the issue saying that any reports about reduction camps were “gossip or rumor,” and that “the Xinjiang regional government, of course, understands the situation in Xinjiang best, and not some other people or organizations.”
29-year-old Mihrigul Tursun, an Uighur from China, has a different view.
Tursun had moved to Egypt to learn English and get an education. There she married and had three children. But when Tursun came back to China in 2015 to visit family she was arrested and detained for three months. During that time one of her children died while the remaining children showed health issues.
Sadly, she was arrested again in 2017. Tursun’s head was shaved and she entailed being submitted to intrusive medical examinations. Again she was released, only to then again be detained.
During the third instance, Tursun explained she was tortured, locked in a single cell with 60 other women and forced to sing songs about China’s Communist Party.
Tursun was made to take pills and ingest an unknown white liquid. While she doesn’t know what purpose those treatments were intended for, sho noted other detained women suffering bleeding and loss of menstruation as a result.
“The authorities put a helmet-like thing on my head, and each time I was electrocuted, my whole body would shake violently and I would feel the pain in my veins,” Tursun said.
“I thought that I would rather die than go through this torture and begged them to kill me,” she relayed to reporters at the National Press Club.
“I don’t remember the rest. White foam came out of my mouth, and I began to lose consciousness,” she added. “The last word I heard them saying is that you being an Uighur is a crime.”
This time when Tursun was released she fled with her remaining children to Egypt and then to the United States were she currently resides.
Commenting on the story, the Heritage Foundation’s Asian policy analyst Olivia Enos said, “The U.S. should continue to strongly condemn China for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and take steps to hold the Chinese government accountable for its persecution of Uighurs.
“In particular, Treasury should consider sanctioning [Communist Party Secretary for the Xinjiang region] Chen Quanguo for the role he’s played in violating human rights in both Xinjiang and Tibet.”