File Photo Photograph:( Reuters )
An ex-cadre told Amnesty that the Chinese officials created a week-long bonfire, in an attempt to burn as many documents from an office overseeing the camps.
Adding to concerns about the inhumane treatment of the Uyghur community in Xinjiang, a new report by Amnesty International, released on Thursday, claims that every former camp detainee had to go through cruel treatment involving torture.
The report relies on interviews with 108 people. This includes 55 camp survivors and several government cadres who worked at the camps.
The in-person interviews were conducted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey and remotely in several other countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.
An ex-cadre told Amnesty that the Chinese officials created a week-long bonfire, in an attempt to burn as many documents from an office overseeing the camps. The document burning took place in 2019 after official Chinese government documents hinting towards the planning of the internment camps were leaked.
The report also reveals the reality behind the 'tours' of the camps. These tours are given by the government to international journalists, in a bid to paint the camps in a positive light.
As per human rights groups and first-hand accounts, more than 1 million Uyghurs and other minorities from Xinjiang are believed to be held in internment camps. Here, the minority communities are forced to study Marxism, renounce their religion, work in factories, and face abuse.
One former detainee, who remains anonymous for safety, told Amnesty that he, along with other detainers, were trained for days on what to say to foreign journalists. As per Amnesty, keeping in mind the risk of detention for people who come out and speak publicly no interviews were conducted in Xinjiang either in person or remotely.
Amnesty has separated torture or ill-treatment into two categories. First, which took place as the results of daily life in the camps, and second, which occurred during interrogations. The torture methods used during interrogations included beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, sleep deprivation, and being hung from a wall.
Another torture method involved being locked in what's called a "tiger chair". It is a steel chair with affixed leg irons and handcuffs that render the body immobile.
Another research done in May claimed that birth rates have fallen in Xinjiang by almost half in the past two years. This comes after the Chinese government implemented policies to reduce the number of babies born in the Uyghur and other Muslim minority communities in the area. The research claims the decline in numbers is more extreme than seen in any global region in the past 71 years of UN fertility data collection. This also includes genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia.