The women have found refuge from Chinese authorities across the border in Kazakhstan , their ancestral homeland. But they remain haunted by the stories of abuse they carry with them. One reported being raped. Many said they were subjected to sexual humiliation, from being filmed in the shower to having their intimate parts rubbed with chili paste. The allegations come as China expands a years-long crackdown on its Muslim minority, which includes not only Uighurs but also Kazakhs and other ethnic groups. While the experiences described could not be independently verified, local rights groups and lawyers say they are common and reveal a wider pattern of abuse directed specifically against women, aimed at curbing their ability to reproduce. In December , Gulzira Mogdyn, a year-old ethnic Kazakh and Chinese citizen, was detained in Xinjiang after a visit to Kazakhstan because WhatsApp was found on her phone. She was placed under house arrest and examined by doctors at a nearby clinic, who discovered she was 10 weeks pregnant. Officials told her she was not allowed to have what would be her fourth child. She still suffers from complications.
Human rights groups say China has detained up to a million people in camps set up throughout Xinjiang, a region where Muslim Uighurs are the biggest ethnic group and where ethnic tensions have in the past resulted in violence. Former camp inmates have described them as prisons and told Reuters that people could be held there for months, being indoctrinated in Communist ideology. When she got to the camp, she was appalled by the treatment of inmates, and saw beatings and torture. There are people who have committed no crime.
Gladney Dru C. Constructing a contemporary Uighur national identity : Transnationalism, islamicization, and State representation. L'immigration turque en France et en Allemagne. National identities never arise in a vacuum. Rather than purely cultural or primordial bases for identity, national identities are constructed in relation to the interpretation of one's own myths of nostalgic descent from a common ancestry. This imagined identity, to use Benedict Anderson's phrase, is formed in the context of changing socioeconomic circumstances -situations most often defined by the nation-state in the modern world, which has regularly abrogated to itself the task of identifying, labeling, and colonizing ethnic identities. I have argued in a separate article Gladney a that the Uighur provide an excellent illustration of this process in which a group of oasis-dwelling Turkic-speaking people shared a general historical experience but did not begin to think of themselves as a single national identity until the early part of this century, when Soviet and Chinese states identified them as one of several Turkic nationalities. Foreigner travel accounts of Xinjiang from the midth century to the early 20th century, by famous explorers such as Muhammad Haidar, Sven Hedin, Paul Pelliot and Owen Lattimore, contained no references to any collective group referred to as Uighur, but instead found people identifying themselves as Turki from their language family , Sart meaning "caravaneer" in old Persian , and other oasis-based ethnonyms, such as Kashgarlik, Turpanlik, and Kotanlik. I have described elsewhere the process of ethnogenesis in which these separate identities crystallized into the people now known as the Uighur, with a population of 7. While this process is not unique to the Uighur, and indeed has been documented by other case studies of ethnogenesis in China, such as the Hui Gladney , the Yi Harrell , the Naxi McKhann , and the Miao Diamond , it is also a natural process of identity formation experienced by many groups of peoples who are often registered and incorporated into the modern nation-state see Bentley ; Cohn ;.
Leaked documents reveal for the first time how China is running a network of high security prisons designed to brainwash hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities. China has consistently claimed the camps in the Xinjiang region offer voluntary education and training. But official documents leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists show how inmates are locked up, indoctrinated and punished. The highly classified Chinese Communist Party documents show the secret plans behind the mass-detention camps that are thought to have held around one million ethnic Uighurs and other minority Muslims in China's Xinjiang province. The classified documents lay out the Chinese government's deliberate strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts and the language they speak. The papers also show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence. Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week. A guard tower and barbed wire fences are seen around a facility in the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in western China's Xinjiang region. This is one of a growing number of internment camps in the Xinjiang, where by some estimates one million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination.