A Kazakh woman who was a former inmate inside China’s mass detention camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has spoken out about sexual violence by Chinese authorities against women detainees.
The woman, who gave only the single name Dina, said she hails from the same county — Xinyuan county in Xinjiang’s Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture — as Tursunay Ziawudun, whose testimony sparked international condemnation of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Ziawudun, who fled the region after her release and is now in the U.S., have previously testified to the BBC that she and other inmates were serially and repeatedly gang-raped in the camps each time by two or three men.
Another woman told the BBC that female inmates were removed from their cells “every night” and raped by one or more masked Chinese men.
Dina said she had personally seen evidence that young Uyghur women were being targeted for sexual violence during her time in the camp.
“What [Tursunay Ziawudun] said is true,” Dina, a former Chinese national who has since obtained citizenship of Kazakhstan, told RFA. ”
“They always go for the young, beautiful Uyghur women,” she said. “There was one woman [in the camp], about 20 years old. They took her away about 9.00 p.m. one night, and sent her back just as we were getting up in the morning.”
“From that day on, she was in a daze and said nothing to anyone. She wouldn’t eat.”
Dina was held in a “re-education” camp in Xinjiang from October 2017 to September 2018 where she shared a cell with a dozen other women, who were forced to eat and urinate in the same room.
She said many of the women were forced into sexual relationships with the men in charge of the camp.
“We were sent later to a [reconstructed camp called a]party school, and many of the women [were forced into sexual]contact with the camp leaders,” she said.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has denied the reports of rape, saying the camps are there to “retrain” Uyghurs for the labour market and to combat “terrorism.”
But as evidence of its genocidal policies in Xinjiang mounts up, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress told RFA that the international community now knows what is going on in Xinjiang.
“They are trying to cover up the truth, use diplomacy and state-controlled media to spread lies and mislead the international community,” Dilxat Raxit said.
“But these victim testimonies have once again made the international community more aware of the genocidal policies that the Chinese government is pursuing against the Uyghurs,” he said. (Source: RFA)