A family stands at the entrance to an underground retail street in Aksu in western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.(AP)
A family stands at the entrance to an underground retail street in Aksu in western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.(AP)

Amnesty calls Xinjiang a ‘dystopian hellscape’

“The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in XUAR,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said on Thursday.
By Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON JUN 12, 2021 12:17 AM IST

China is committing human rights abuses on Muslim minorities in the province of Xinjiang, a “dystopian hellscape” where brainwashing and torture in camps are commonplace, human rights group Amnesty International has said in a scathing report.

“Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) face systematic state-organised mass imprisonment, torture and persecution amounting to crimes against humanity,” the report said, quoting dozens of new testimonies from former camp detainees.

“The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in XUAR,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said on Thursday.

‘Tinted glasses’

The Chinese foreign ministry dismissed the report on Friday, calling it a “record of lies”. “People are clear about the nature of Amnesty International. This organisation, wearing tinted glasses, has been misleading the public and spreading lies and rumours about Xinjiang. Its so-called report is like adding one more page to its record of lies,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

“We urge the relevant organisation to abandon its persistent prejudice against China, stop fabricating and spreading disinformation and look at relevant issues from an objective and just perspective,” Wang added.

Sleep deprivation, beatings, and the use of “tiger chairs” - iron chairs with iron buckles to restrain those being questioned - were recorded, the report said, adding that detainees could be hooded and shackled during questioning.

“It should shock the conscience of humanity that massive number of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps, while millions more live in fear amid a vast surveillance apparatus,” Callamard added.

Hong Kong to censor films

Hong Kong censors are to vet all films for national security breaches under newly expanded powers. The government said the Film Censorship Ordinance has been expanded to include “any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security”.

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