Muslim Women Forced To Sleep With Chinese Officers During Surveillance Visits: Report
According to a report by Radio Free Asia, Muslim women of Xinjiang, whose husbands had been persecuted in Chinese internment camps, were forced to share beds with male Han Chinese officials who were assigned to monitor the detained families in their homes.
During the surveillance visits to the persecuted Uighur minority families, the Communist party officials sleep beside the wives, one of the party sources told Radio Free Asia.
This comes as yet another form of systematic repression of Uyghur Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang, where more than a million Muslims are subjected to the atrocities by the state that varies from arbitrary detention in secretive re-education camps to inhumane operations performed on them to retrieve their organs for selling.
Since last year, Uyghur Muslim women have been expected to share their political views and provide information about their personal lives to these frequently visiting officers.
These officials have been deployed to keep a check on Uyghur families and make them comply with the state’s ideological beliefs. The surveillance happens every two months as a part of what they call, the “Pair Up and Become Family” programme.
Branded as relatives of the monitored families, the officials work, eat, and often share a bed with their “hosts”, one Communist party officer told RFA.
“They stay with their paired relatives day and night,” said the officer, who oversees 70 to 80 families in Yengisar county.
“Normally one or two people sleep in one bed, and if the weather is cold, three people sleep together,” he added.
The officer further claims that he had never heard of any incident of sexual assault, and the practice is now considered normal among the Uyghur tribes.
The Chinese government claims the practice is voluntary, but Uyghur Muslims are well aware of the repercussions they could face if they opposed any state initiatives.
Images that floated on social media after the report went viral also showed the new “relatives” attending Uighur weddings, funerals and other occasions that once considered intimate and private.
Human Rights Watch(HRW) had also slammed China’s widespread crackdown on Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang. According to HRW, the practice of coercing these officials into private lives of the persecuted families is an example of “deeply invasive forced assimilation practices” that “not only violate basic rights but are also likely to foster and deepen resentment in the region”.
Last week the UK joined 22 other countries at the United Nations in condemning Beijing’s persecution of Muslims, calling on China to respect human rights and its citizens’ freedom of religion.