Xinjiang, Uyghur women tortured and raped: interparliamentary group calls for investigation

The IPAC says the United Nations and individual states must act against Beijing, accused of crimes against humanity and genocide. Victims tortured with electric shocks to the genitals. The drama of forced sterilization. China denies the abuse and the existence of concentration camps in the autonomous region.


Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Interparliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) has called for a coordinated response from the international community regarding the rape and torture suffered by Uyghur women in the Xinjiang internment camps.

The transnational group, comprising more than 200 parliamentarians from different countries, refers to the revelations made on February 2 by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on the repression of the Islamic minority in the Chinese autonomous region.

Led by US Senator Marco Rubio, legislators from Australia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union are asking to move from words to deeds.

They want the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate the work of the Chinese government, accused of crimes against humanity and genocide. Meanwhile, IPAC MPs are calling on individual states to take initiatives against Beijing in compliance with the UN Convention on Genocide. The administration of the new US president Joe Biden has made the same request.

According to the BBC investigation, based on testimonies from some victims and a prison guard, Uyghur women are systematically tortured and raped in concentration camps set up by the authorities in Xinjiang. Abuses by Chinese guards - often in groups - also include electric shocks to the genitals and the use of vaccines for forced sterilization.

Yesterday the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the allegations, speaking of a "false report". Beijing claims that those in Xinjiang are vocational training centres and poverty reduction projects. According to a large part of the international community, China has actually organized a lager system to keep the Uyghur and Kazakh populations under control.

Expert data, confirmed by the United Nations, reveals that over a million Uyghurs and other Turkish-speaking minorities of Islamic faith are arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang, which the local population calls "East Turkestan".

Recent press revelations have also highlighted the existence of labour camps in the region, where hundreds of thousands of Muslims are reportedly employed by force, especially in the cotton harvest. China produces 20% of the world's cotton, most of it in Xinjiang.

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