Amnesty International has gathered new evidence of human rights violations in the Xinjiang region of China, which he said has become a “dystopian hellish landscape” for hundreds of thousands of Muslims subjected to mass internment and torture.
The human rights organization has collected more than 50 new accounts from Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities who claim to have been subjected to mass internment and torture at police stations and camps in the region.
Testimonies of former detainees included in a new report released on Thursday allege that “tiger chairs”
The report also claims that beatings, sleep deprivation and overcrowding are common in police stations. Uighur Muslims, often arrested for lawful conduct, also reported wearing hoods and shackles during interrogation and relocation.
In the camps, detainees had no privacy or autonomy and were severely punished for trivial disobedience, the report said. Amnesty says it has learned of a case in which a detainee is believed to have died as a result of being held in a tiger’s chair in front of his cellmates for 72 hours.
In the first weeks of their stay in the camps, the interviewees told Amnesty researchers that they were forced to sit still or kneel in the same position in their cell for hours. They say they were not allowed to practice Islam and were not allowed to use their mother tongue. They also claim to have been forced to attend classes where they studied Mandarin and Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
In addition to being escorted under armed guard to and from chairs, classes or interrogations, detainees almost never leave their cells and rarely see sunlight or have access to the outdoors and exercise, the report added.
“Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellish landscape on a stunning scale in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” said Agnes Calamard, secretary general of Amnesty International.
“It must shock the conscience of humanity that a huge number of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps, while millions of others live in fear among a huge surveillance apparatus.”
The amnesty calls for all camps housing Muslim and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang to be closed and for the UN to investigate and prosecute suspects in crimes under international law.
China has consistently denied all allegations of wrongdoing in Xinjiang and said the camps were designed to offer Chinese language lessons and support for work as well as the fight against religious extremism.
He campaigns to discredit prosecutors, deny allegations and findings, and promote Xinjiang as a “beautiful land.” He denied journalists and human rights groups free access to the area and dismissed the investigation’s findings as a lie.
The report adds growing pressure on Chinese authorities and comes after British lawmakers adopted a proposal in April declaring China committing genocide against the Uighur people and other minorities in Xinjiang.