Zumret Dawut, a Uighur woman from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, has recounted being forcibly sterilized in a Chinese internment camp.
An AP News investigation in June outlined the extent of the Chinese government’s “draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population.”
Dawut, 38, has spoken out about the two months she spent in a camp and her eventual release, where her nightmare continued when she was anesthetized and her fallopian tubes were tied by Han doctors in an irreversible operation, despite promising officials she and her husband would not have any more children.
In a July 28 Skype interview with British paper The Sun, Dawut described her ordeal and prisoners being subjected to gang rapes, mutilation and brutal batterings.
She recounted a liquid being injected into her arm three times a week, after which time her periods stopped.
The paper reports that she is now living in the U.S. with her family after her escape from a detention camp in Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang region.
Here’s what you need to know:
China Is Cutting Uighur Births With IUDs, Abortion & Sterilization, The AP Reports
“The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands,” according to The Associated Press.
The Chinese government is taking measures to ensure a decrease in the birthrate amongst Uighurs as part of a campaign to curb its Muslim population while encouraging the Han majority in the country to have more children, The AP said.
The Uighurs are a “mostly Turkic-speaking” Muslim ethnic minority, The Sun said. The outlet described international outrage when drone footage of camps was released showing “blindfolded, bound and shaven-headed Uighur Muslims being herded on to trains in China.”
Research shows a 60% drop in Uighur births in the Xinjiang prefectures of Hotan and Kashgar from 2015-2018.
Author and China scholar Adrian Zenz called the drop “unprecedented” and “part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”
Other Women Detailed Their Experiences of Forced Abortions & Being Fitted With IUDs
Gulzia Mogdin, another former detainee, described to The AP her ordeal of a forced abortion after a urine sample showed she was two months pregnant with her third child.
She was taken to a hospital, where medics “inserted an electric vacuum into her womb and sucked her fetus out of her body.”
Tursunay Ziyawudun said she received injections that stopped her period, was kicked in the stomach and now is unable to have children and bleeds painfully from her womb. Chinese-born Kazakh Gulnar Omirzakh, fitted with an irremovable IUD which was now sinking into her flesh, likened the sensation to being stabbed with a knife.
Others described having been “beaten with electrified truncheons … flayed, forced to sit on a chair of nails or had their fingernails prised off,” The Sun reported.
A Christian Was Imprisoned & Forced to Eat 100 Roaches
Chrisitan Post reported that a man using the pseudonym Li Geng, arrested five years ago and imprisoned for more than three years, was forced to eat live cockroaches and faced hours of indoctrination, or re-education, in a Chinese camp in Guangdong for his religious views.
Geng was forced to eat more than 100 cockroaches while he was imprisoned, some of which were still alive, he said:
Some of the cockroaches were bigger than crickets. My inmate ‘supervisor’ caught a cockroach and put it into my mouth while it was still alive. He didn’t allow me to spit it out, threatening to beat me if I did.
He then continued putting cockroaches into my mouth but would not let me swallow them. He wanted them to crawl in my mouth first, and only then was I told to chew the cockroaches thoroughly.
The pungent taste made me nauseous. I was in unbearable distress.
He was not allowed to defecate or use the toilet for 16 days, he said, and lost a significant amount of his hearing after being subjected to noise torture.
Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, was sentenced in December 2019 to nine years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business activities” following closed-door proceedings. Amnesty International called the ruling “appalling and unjust.”