April 13 (UPI) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the Chinese government on Thursday after reports surfaced that it has been spying on Muslim Uyghurs to keep them from fasting during Ramadan.
Radio Free Asia had reported that Chinese officials sent spies into the Xinjiang province to monitor their activities during the holy month. Authorities reportedly determined that 54 Uyghurs had violated the law by fasting.
"The Chinese government's reported use of spies to disrupt the religious observance of Muslim Uyghurs during Ramadan is a violation of their most basic human dignity and of international laws on religious freedom," CAIR Deputy Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in a statement. "The Chinese Communist Party must end its war on Islam in Xinjiang."
The Uyghur people are an ethnic minority in China made up mostly of Muslims native to the region who speak their own language, which is similar to Turkish.
China has repeatedly been accused of detaining Uyghur Muslims and putting them in concentration camps, where they allegedly have undergone beatings, torture, and rape.
The office of the U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights concluding in August that allegations of torture, forced detention, and other human-rights abuses are "credible."
His statement came a day after the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and children's commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for illegally transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.
The East Turkestan exile government, which was declared in 2004 and is based in Washington, D.C., is not recognized by the United States or other governments worldwide.