China Forces Birth Control On Uyghur Women To Suppress Muslim Population, Says New Report

China had initially denied the existence of the detention camps before justifying them as a “necessary measure against terrorism.”

Written by Wali Ahmed & Nawal Qadir

China has allegedly been forcefully subjecting Uyghur women to various birth control methods in an attempt to reduce and eliminate the minority population, according to a report by China specialist Adrian Zenz.  The news comes as Uyghurs continue to be detained in concentration camps in Xinjiang. It is believed that approximately one million Uyghur people, as well as other minority groups, are being held in what China refers to as “re-education” camps.  

China has responded by calling it “fake news,” stating that the allegations are “baseless.” However, China had initially denied the existence of the detention camps before justifying them as a “necessary measure against terrorism.”

Zenz’s report states that since 2016, reproductive autonomy and its associated human rights have continuously been interfered with in Xinjiang. Uyghur women who refuse to abort pregnancies that exceed the quota of two children are threatened to be forced into internment camps. It additionally states that women with fewer than two children were forced to have sterilization surgeries or take intra-uterine devices (IUDs). Formerly detained individuals also say that they were given injections to halt their periods.

However, the Han Chinese population are reportedly spared the various birth control measures forced on Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities.

 

READ MORE: Trump Signs Bill Rebuking China’s Treatment Of Uyghur Muslims

 

An investigation by AP News has found that the humanitarian violations are far more widespread and systemic than previously thought.  The investigation shows that the current treatment of Uyghur Muslims in these camps could amount to “demographic genocide,” meaning that China could successfully and covertly eradicate the Uyghur population in just a few generations.  “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uyghurs,” Zenz said. “Overall, it is likely that Xinjiang authorities are engaging in the mass sterilization of women with three or more children.”

Joanne Smith Finley, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Newcastle University goes further, saying ““It’s genocide, full stop.” “It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide – but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide.”

Adrian Zenz’s data suggests that the natural population growth in predominantly Uyghur regions  has fallen by more than 60% between 2015 and 2018, a drop which he describes as “unprecedented” and “ruthless.”

“These findings provide the strongest evidence yet that Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang meet one of the genocide criteria cited in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” says Zenz in his report.

One former Uyghur detainee, Zumret Dawut, was forcibly sterilized along with 200 others. Dawut was put into an internment camp for two months for holding an American visa. She had later returned home but was placed under house arrest, was forced to have gynaecological exams on a monthly basis, and was threatened to be placed in a camp again should she not comply.

“They want to eliminate us, but they can’t kill all of us,” she said. “They’re doing it step by step with policies such as sterilization, imprisonment, separating men and women and making them work as forced laborers.” 

Forced sterilization isn’t a new trend for China, which for a long time had a one-child-per-household policy. However, in recent years, and especially under President Xi Jinping, the sterilization programs have been concentrated in the Uyghur minority areas, turning the countryside region of Xinjiang from one of the fastest growing populations in China to the slowest in just a few years. 

 

The news of forced birth control methods come as an addition to the internment and forced labour in Uyghur detention camps, as well as the separation of Uyghur children from their parents in order to indoctrinate them, practices that have been widely criticized by human rights organizations around the world, and which China continues to deny or defend.

 

Trump Signs Bill Rebuking China’s Treatment Of Uyghur Muslims

Donald Trump signs a bill that calls for sanctions on China in response to their brutal mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims.

President Trump signed a bill that calls for sanctions on China in response to their brutal mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims on Wednesday afternoon. This bill, which would require Trump to revoke officials’ entry visas if they’re found to be connected to the internment of the Uyghur population, was signed after John R. Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, released his explosive book. 

While Trump has previously been relatively quiet on the humanitarian crisis occurring within China’s borders, Bolton’s new novel alleged that, behind closed doors, Trump approved of the reasons Chinese President Xi Jinping “was basically building concentration camps,” for the minority Uyghur population, saying he thought [building the camps] was exactly the right thing to do.”

Though there was no official ceremony held for the signing, Trump has now said that the bill “holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities and other minorities in China,” in a statement released after the bill was signed. 

The legislation also requires Trump to submit a report to Congress detailing any foreign official responsible for the crisis, increasing the already high tensions between the US and China.  

“We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, and stop using the bill to damage China’s interests and interfere in China’s internal affairs otherwise China will resolutely take countermeasures,” said the Chinese foreign ministry in a statement. 

Although Trump has been publicly berating China since the coronavirus outbreak, Bolton also alleges that Trump personally reached out to Xi Jinping to ask for help in winning the 2020 election.

READ MORE:  U.S. House Passes Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

U.S. House Passes Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

House of Representatives has passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act by a vote of 413-1.

U.S. House Passes Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act

House of Representatives has passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act by a vote of 413-1.

By

Wali Ahmad
Photo - Umit Bektas/Reuters

May 29, 2020 – The United States House of Representatives passes the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act by a vote of 413-1, which was approved unanimously by the Senate two weeks prior. The act is now pending Presidential approval..

The Act essentially allows the U.S. to amend its foreign policy towards China based on concerns regarding the persecution of ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. This could include actions such as imposing financial sanctions and limiting the approval of visas for Chinese government officials. 

Further, the President has approximately six months to submit reports to Congress which identifies the names of all Chinese officials that are directly responsible for denying the “right to life, liberty, or the security” of people in Xinjiang. 

Nury Turkel, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedoms Commissioner,  welcomed the Act, stating: “The world has stood by for too long as the Chinese government detained millions of Muslims in concentration camps. […] The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act would be the first major legislation focused on promoting the rights of Uyghur and other Muslims. Hopefully, other countries will follow the U.S. government’s lead and take action on this issue.”

Turkel’s reference to “concentration camps” highlights the many human rights violations committed by China against this population, including torture, detention without charge or trial, abduction, and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of Muslim minority groups. Mihrigul Tursun, who is of Uyghur ethnicity, testified regarding her experience at a 2018 congressional hearing: “When I was 12 years old, I was taken to Guangzhou for middle school, under the Chinese government’s program to move Uyghur children to inner China at a young age. This ‘Xinjian Classrooms’ policy takes thousands of children away from their families and immerses them in Han Chinese institutions, far from their native language and cultural environment.” 

In addition to detailing the forced cultural assimilation, she spoke of her own experience in detention centers: “Over the last three years, I was taken to Chinese government detention centers three times. I spent 10 months in the camps in total, and experienced physical and psychological torture at the hands of government officials.” Tursun was eventually brought to safety by the U.S. government.

WATCH: Uyghur Muslim Explains Uyghur Crisis

 

China continues to cite the camps as centers for “vocational training” with the intention of “preventing terrorism.” The Islamophobic decision by China to target Muslims for mass internment of “potential terrorists” was defended by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, who responded to the newly passed U.S. Human Rights Act stating that it “smears the human rights condition in Xinjiang, slanders China’s efforts in de-radicalization and counter-terrorism and viciously attacks the Chinese government’s Xinjiang policy.”

The move signals the U.S. bipartisan approach in combating Islamophobia on an international level. The bill was introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. “For far too long, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to systemically wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” Rubio stated. “It’s long overdue to hold the perpetrators accountable and I urge the President to sign it into law without delay.”

The Act also comes during the increasingly strained relationship between the U.S. and China, after Trump continues to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic. Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress, pleaded with Trump in a statement. “We urge President Trump to sign the [Act] into law as a matter of priority and take immediate steps to implement it” he said. “Our community needs the U.S. government and governments around the world to take real, meaningful action.”

 

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