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China accuses British broadcaster of false claims in Uighur report

Women of the Uighur ethnic minority in China are being raped in state-run internment camps, according to the BBC. China has denied the allegations. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Women of the Uighur ethnic minority in China are being raped in state-run internment camps, according to the BBC. China has denied the allegations. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- China said a recent report from Britain's public service broadcaster with details of systemic gang rape in China's internment camp for Uighurs is "fake," as tensions escalate between Beijing and London.

The Chinese foreign ministry said the BBC report contains lies about the fate of women of the Uighur minority group in Xinjiang, state-owned news agency Xinhua said Friday.

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The ministry also summoned the BBC's bureau director in Beijing to issue a warning. Chinese diplomats charged the British broadcaster with politicizing the coronavirus pandemic and accused the BBC of "ideological bias," according to the report.

China's decision to condemn the BBC comes after British broadcast regulator Ofcom revoked the license of China's state-owned network CGTN. British authorities said CGTN broke local laws because of its lack of independence from the Chinese Communist Party.

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In the United States, CGTN, as well as China Daily, have been designated as state-sponsored agents or entities.

Tensions are rising between the China and Britain.

The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday three Chinese nationals identified as spies but posing as journalists had been expelled from Britain.

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The three defendants were intelligence officers for China's ministry of state security, a British senior government source said, according to the report.

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The BBC report published this week included disturbing details of the fate of young Uighur women in secretive concentration camps China has called "re-education" centers.

Tursunay Ziawudun, a BBC source, said masked men would come to prison cells at night to pick women and take them to a "black room" with no surveillance cameras.

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The BBC said investigations show evidence of an "organized system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture." Descriptions from victims of the camps also match satellite imagery analysis, the report said.

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