Two women who claim to have experienced and escaped Chinese “re-education camps” have given first-hand testimony to members of the US Congress, providing harrowing detail while pleading with Americans not to turn a blind eye to what Washington has declared a continuing genocide against Muslim ethnic minorities.
Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a Uyghur lady, spoke before a special House committee on Thursday, saying that during her nearly three years in internment camps and police stations, detainees were forced to 11 hours of “brainwashing education” each day, according to the Guardian.
Before and after meals, they sang patriotic songs and praised the Chinese leadership.
According to Haitiwaji, detainees were punished for speaking Uyghur and subjected to routine interrogations in which they were hooded and tied to their chairs.
She claimed to have been shackled to her bed for 20 days on one occasion.
According to the Guardian, female detainees were assured they would be vaccinated while being sterilised.
“There are cameras all over the camp,” Haitiwaji said. “Our every move was monitored.”
She said in written testimony that after her head was shaved, she had a feeling of “losing my sense of self, losing my ability to even remember the faces of my family members”, the Guardian reported.
Qelbinur Sidik, a member of China’s ethnic Uzbek minority who is now a human rights activist in the Netherlands, described how Chinese authorities forced him to teach classes in one of China’s internment camps.
She characterised the prison facilities as “like a war zone,” with razor wire fencing and armed guards, through a translator.
According to the Guardian, Sidik remembers hearing “horrible screaming sounds” of Uyghur captives being tortured.