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Allegations of shackled students and gang rape inside China's detention camps

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.1%. 2 min read.

On the first day of her new teaching job at a Chinese government-run detention center in Xinjiang, Qelbinur Sidik said she saw two soldiers carry a young Uyghur woman out of the building on a stretcher.

(CNN)On the first day of her new teaching job at a Chinese government-run detention center in Xinjiang, Qelbinur Sidik said she saw two soldiers carry a young Uyghur woman out of the building on a stretcher.

Her cheeks were drained of color, she was not breathing," said Sidik, a former elementary school teacher who says she was forced to spend several months teaching at two detention centers in Xinjiang in 2017.

The Chinese government has rejected allegations of genocide, and in a statement to CNN said "there is no so-called 'systematic sexual assault and abuse against women' in Xinjiang. "

"When (male guards) were drinking at night, the policemen would tell each other how they raped and tortured girls," Sidik told CNN from her new home in the Netherlands.

At her first lesson, Sidik said she turned to the chalkboard only to hear the detainees behind her crying.

Tursunay Ziyawudun said she had committed no crime when she was first detained in April 2017, after returning home to Xinjiang's Xinyuan County to obtain official documents.

Speaking to CNN from the US, Ziyawudun said that she was taken to a cell with about 20 other women, where they were given little food and water and only allowed to use the toilet once a day for three to five minutes.

On the night of September 26, 2019, after being warned by Chinese authorities not to speak of her experiences in detention, Ziyawudun said she walked across the Kazakhstan border to her waiting husband.

She said she blamed her medical complications on her treatment in the Xinjiang camps, although CNN cannot verify this conclusion.

In a news conference on February 3, Chinese officials introduced some ethnic minority women who they said had "graduated" from the system, and "shared how they got rid of extreme thoughts. " They also said reports of mass rape and forced sterilization were "sheer nonsense" and state media has sought to personally discredit the women's claims.

For her part, Sidik said she was told by her husband that government officials had come to his house and coached him for four hours about how to film a short video denying his wife's claims of being in a detention center.

She said her husband told her to never come back to Xinjiang.

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