The human rights organization Amnesty International on Thursday called on the international community to do more to halt the persecution of the Muslim minority Uighurs in China.
“The Chinese authorities have created a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, presenting a new report on the situation in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
In the 160-page report, more than 50 former prisoners describe the measures under which since 2017 the religious tradition, cultural practices and local customs of the Muslim minority have been systematically repressed by Chinese authorities.
According to the report, Chinese authorities created a sophisticated surveillance system with a network of so-called re-education camps. Former inmates spoke of “brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment” at the camps.
But all aspects of daily life were also being regulated, according to the report, in order to create a homogeneous Chinese nation. Members of the Uighur minority were being targeted under the excuse of anti-terrorism measures.
“The international community must speak out and act in unison to end this abomination, once and for all,” Callamard said.
“The UN must establish and urgently dispatch an independent investigative mechanism with a view to bringing those suspected of responsibility for crimes under international law to account,” she added.
The United States, the European Union and Britain have already imposed sanctions on China over its human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Beijing has retaliated.