Uyghur woman recalls how she was gang-raped and tortured at Chinese labour camp

New Delhi: An Uyghur woman, who was arrested in northern China’s Xinjiang region, has recalled the physical torture she endured during her detention at a labour camp, saying that she was gang-raped and her “private parts were tortured with electricity”, the New York Post reported.

“You’re left with marks on your body that make you not want to look at yourself,” the newspaper quoted Tursunay Ziyawudun as saying.

Her story is, tragically, not uncommon for members of the minority Uyghur community, with Turkish roots, in President XI Jinping’s China, the report said.

“They gave me sterilisation pills,” said Ziyawudun. “I am pretty sure that is why I cannot have a baby now.”

Since around 2016, the Uyghurs have been pulled off streets and sent to re-education camps, where reports have surfaced about people being tortured, raped and even killed. They are sent there under the auspices of learning a trade and having their patriotism reinforced, the New York Post said.

In 2017, Ziyawudun was arrested, forced by police officers to turn over her passport and taken to a prison camp about 30 minutes from her village.

There, she was made to sing communist songs of patriotism and repeatedly told that her Muslim religion does not exist, the report said. After a month, she developed stomach issues, fainted and was released.

“They sent me to the hospital,” Ziyawudun, who came to the US as a political refugee in 2020, said. “If they hadn’t I might have died.”

The year after she was arrested, she was summoned to a police station and told that she needed to complete her training.

She was sent back to the “re-education” camp, where her hair was shorn, likely to be sold as a wig, and her earrings were ripped out.

“They pulled it so hard that my ears were bleeding,” Ziyawudun recalled. “I was being treating like an animal.”


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