The “draconian” repression of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs minority in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang “amounts to crimes against humanity,” human rights organization Amnesty International said in a report.
Amnesty International launched a report on June 10, alleging that Chinese authorities have built “one of the world’s most sophisticated surveillance systems and a vast network of hundreds of grim” internment camps throughout Xinjiang.
The report collected over 50 accounts from Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the region who claimed to have been subjected to “extreme measures,” including mass imprisonment, torture, and persecution since 2017.
Testimonies in the 160-page report alleged the use of “tiger chairs” – steel chairs with affixed leg irons and handcuffs that restrain the body in painful positions — during police interrogations, of which some reportedly would last for 24 hours or more.
Former detainees also told Amnesty International that beatings, sleep deprivation, and overcrowding were common in the police stations.
According to Amnesty International, the crimes were “to essentially root out” the traditional and cultural practices of the Muslim ethnic groups, which authorities have deemed “extremist.”
“The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said.
“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,” Callamard further said.
Callamard called on the United Nations to establish an independent investigation to bring those responsible for the crimes under international law.
China has repeatedly denied the accusations of abuses against Uyghur and has insisted that the camps were for vocational training to ensure security in the region.