As long as these appalling outrages continue, free people in free countries owe it to the victims to shine a bright light on the atrocities. As long as the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for these abuses, they should not be considered 'international community' members in good standing. Kudos to the BBC, which has done excellent and important work on this front before, for sticking with the story. Before you read further, consider this your content warning for disturbing and graphic content:
Women in China's "re-education" camps for Uighurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured, according to detailed new accounts obtained by the BBC...Human rights groups say the Chinese government has gradually stripped away the religious and other freedoms of the Uighurs, culminating in an oppressive system of mass surveillance, detention, indoctrination, and even forced sterilisation...First-hand accounts from inside the internment camps are rare, but several former detainees and a guard have told the BBC they experienced or saw evidence of an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture. Tursunay Ziawudun, who fled Xinjiang after her release and is now in the US, said women were removed from the cells "every night" and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. She said she was tortured and later gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men. Ziawudun has spoken to the media before, but only from Kazakhstan, where she "lived in constant fear of being sent back to China", she said. She said she believed that if she revealed the extent of the sexual abuse she had experienced and seen, and was returned to Xinjiang, she would be punished more harshly than before.
The BBC also interviewed a Kazakh woman from Xinjiang who was detained for 18 months in the camp system, who said she was forced to strip Uighur women naked and handcuff them, before leaving them alone with Chinese men. Afterwards, she cleaned the rooms, she said. "My job was to remove their clothes above the waist and handcuff them so they cannot move," said Gulzira Auelkhan, crossing her wrists behind her head to demonstrate. "Then I would leave the women in the room and a man would enter - some Chinese man from outside or policeman. I sat silently next to the door, and when the man left the room I took the woman for a shower." The Chinese men "would pay money to have their pick of the prettiest young inmates", she said.
Some former detainees of the camps have described being forced to assist guards or face punishment. Auelkhan said she was powerless to resist or intervene. Asked if there was a system of organised rape, she said: "Yes, rape." "They forced me to go into that room," she said. "They forced me to take off those women's clothes and to restrain their hands and leave the room." Some of the women who were taken away from the cells at night were never returned, Ziawudun said. Those who were brought back were threatened against telling others in the cell what had happened to them. "You can't tell anyone what happened, you can only lie down quietly," she said. "It is designed to destroy everyone's spirit."
The Biden administration and Congress must not ignore this as they craft policy vis-a-vis China. You can't wish it away, especially not in the context of other awful conduct by Beijing on multiple fronts. And American companies that preen, virtue signal and preach wokeness here at home -- I'm looking directly at you, Nike, Disney and others -- can either stop kowtowing to the regime in a very pointed and public way, or they deserve reputational harm. And they certainly deserve for their self-serving 'human rights' lectures never to be taken seriously again. I'll leave you with the CCP propaganda machine belching out weak, insulting lies on another matter:
We hope all sides concerned will act like China, adopt an active, science-based & cooperative attitude, and invite WHO experts in for origin-tracing studies. pic.twitter.com/a3uX8lgd0r— Spokesperson?????? (@MFA_China) February 3, 2021