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Amnesty International deems China's repression of Muslims 'crimes against humanity'

By
Kyle Barnett
China's systemic repression of Muslims has led to pushback in the community, including rare public protests. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL
China's systemic repression of Muslims has led to pushback in the community, including rare public protests. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL

June 10 (UPI) -- Amnesty International is calling out China over mistreatment of its Muslim minority population.

The human rights group put out a 160-page report titled "'Like We Were Enemies in a War': China's Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang," detailing China's routined abuses against the Muslim minority population.

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"The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in Xinjiang. Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities face crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations that threaten to erase their religious and cultural identities," Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International's Secretary General, said in a statement.

The report focuses on abuses in the Xinjiang region of China from 2019 to mid-2021 and chronicles many aspects of the alleged abuses of Muslims by Chinese authorities.

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In compiling its data, Amnesty International interviewed 55 Muslims who were imprisoned in Chinese internment camps.

The report chronicles how Muslims are arbitrarily detained solely based on their ethnicity and forced to live in internment camps, where they are subjected to torture.

"The overall environment and setting in the internment camps leads to a total absence of any safeguards against torture or other ill-treatment, which in itself is a violation of a state's duties to protect and prevent people deprived of their liberty from violations of the absolute prohibition of such treatment in international human rights law," the report reads.

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Included in torture techniques former detainees reported were electric shocks, bearings, restraints and the use of stress positions.

The group recommended internal bodies sanction China to stop the alleged abuse against its Muslim minority and called on President Xi Jinping by name.

"Xi Jinping must immediately release all people arbitrarily detained in internment camps and in prisons in Xinjiang," the report reads.

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A previous report published by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy found China's treatment of Muslims is consistent with genocide. Altogether an estimated 1 million Muslims are imprisoned in China's interment camps.

In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the genocide claim "couldn't be more preposterous."

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