Torture, Sexual Abuse, Sterilization: Uyghur Camp Survivors Testify at Congressional Hearing

Eugene Hoshiko

Genocide is occurring, this time at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” said House select committee on China chair Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) after hearing graphic testimony about the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs.

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Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Qelbinur Sidik testified at a Congressional hearing Thursday through interpreters about the horrors of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims, according to The Daily Signal. Haitiwaji is a Uyghur and the author of How I Survived a Chinese “Reeducation” Camp: A Uyghur Woman’s Story. She lived in China and then moved to France, but was called back to China in 2016 on the pretext that there was an issue with her retirement pension. Instead, Haitiwaji was arrested when she arrived and sent to a “reeducation” camp.  

“First they shackled my feet and then they detained [me],” Haitiwaji described her arrest. “The woman’s condition in the detention centers are horrible. All women are shackled, and our language… we are all prohibited to speak.” The detainees are tortured and interrogated, Haitiwaji stated.

“The rooms we were kept in had bunk beds, a bucket to serve as a toilet, and cameras panning the room,” Haitiwaji’s written testimony stated. “There was no mattress, no toilet paper, no sheets, nowhere to wash.’

Haitiwaji had to go through 11 hours of Chinese language education every single day, The Daily Signal reported.

Related: Subjective Morality on Full Display as TikTok Creators Descend on D.C.

Sidik, an Uzbek and a teacher, said she was assigned in 2017 as an instructor in a “reeducation” camp. She said none of her “students” had a shower in the six months she taught there. “For each meal they eat one Chinese bun and water, and even going for toilet is monitored.” Sidik continued, “ There are four types of torturing methods. One is electric button, electric helmet, electric glove, and a tiger chair.” Her students were called out of class to be interrogated in nearby rooms, and Sidik heard “horrible screaming sound[s] from torture.”

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Sidik also described apparent forced sterilization of the Uyghur women. Some type of medication was administered every Monday. “After they take that, those medicines [then] the period will stop,” Sidik said. “Even some wom[en] who were breastfeeding the babies, the breast milk will stop after taking that medicine.” 

Sidik’s written testimony said she could tell sometimes when the women had been sexually assaulted. They “would come to class, I could tell [by] how they walked with difficulty or were sobbing that they had been sexually abused.” She added graphic details: “[Guards were] raping women but also inserting batons, even electric ones, into their private parts and even men’s rectums.”

Eventually, Sidik escaped to the Netherlands, and Haitiwaji fled back to France (after being forced to confess “crimes”). Haitiwaji’s written testimony contained suggestions for the U.S. government in light of the witnesses’ evidence:

Pass more laws to end our suffering and hold those responsible accountable.

Please rescue Uyghur and other Turkic refugees, like Canada has done.

Please stop American companies from continuing to be complicit in surveilling our people and profiting from their labor.

Please stop pension fund investments in China’s high-tech surveillance companies. I was shocked to learn that Americans are pouring their money into Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, Tencent, and others that we are familiar with as being the power behind the Chinese State’s heavy hand over our lives.

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The abuse of the Uyghur Muslims and other political and religious prisoners in China is one of those crimes that the Bible says cries out to Heaven for vengeance. As the CCP intrudes increasingly into U.S. government, education, and business, Americans need to know these facts.

As Rep. Gallagher said, “[The] least we can do on this committee is to make sure that in fifty years — when the Xinjiang genocide is remembered as one of the abominations of the 21st century — no corporate executive, no policy maker, no investor, no university president can look their grandchildren in the eye and claim they didn’t know.”

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