五月花寫作組 ｜ 翻譯：虹陵 ｜ 校對：jiasen ｜ 編輯：jamie(文胤) ｜ 美工、發稿：滅共小宇宙
- By Matthew Hill, David Campanale and Joel Gunter
- BBC News
In the camp in Kunes, Ziawudun’s days drifted into weeks and then months. The detainees’ hair was cut, they went to class, they underwent unexplained medical tests, took pills, and were forcibly injected every 15 days with a “vaccine” that brought on nausea and numbness.
Women were forcibly fitted with IUDs or sterilised, Ziawudun said, including a woman who was just about 20 years old. (“We begged them on her behalf,” she said.) Forced sterilisation of Uighurs has been widespread in Xinjiang, according to a recent investigation by the Associated Press. The Chinese government told the BBC the allegations were “completely unfounded”.
齊亞烏敦說，婦女被強行插入宮內節育器（IUDs）或絕育，其中包括一名只有20歲左右的婦女。 （“我們替她向他們求情” 她說。）根據美聯社最近的調查，在新疆，維吾爾人被強迫絕育的情況很普遍。中共國政府告訴英國廣播公司，這些指控“完全沒有根據”。
As well as the medical interventions, detainees in Ziawudun’s camp spent hours singing patriotic Chinese songs and watching patriotic TV programmes about Chinese President Xi Jinping, she said.
“You forget to think about life outside the camp. I don’t know if they brainwashed us or if it was the side effect of the injections and pills, but you can’t think of anything beyond wishing you had a full stomach. The food deprivation is so severe.”
Detainees had food withheld for infractions such as failing to accurately memorise passages from books about Xi Jinping, according to a former camp guard who spoke to the BBC via video link from a country outside China.
“Once we were taking the people arrested into the concentration camp, and I saw everyone being forced to memorise those books. They sit for hours trying to memorise the text, everyone had a book in their hands,” he said.
Those who failed tests were forced to wear three different colours of clothing based on whether they had failed one, two, or three times, he said, and subjected to different levels of punishment accordingly, including food deprivation and beatings.
“I entered those camps. I took detainees into those camps,” he said. “I saw those sick, miserable people. They definitely experienced various types of torture. I am sure about that.”
It was not possible to independently verify the guard’s testimony but he provided documents that appeared to corroborate a period of employment at a known camp. He agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.
The guard said he did not know anything about rape in the cell areas. Asked if the camp guards used electrocution, he said: “Yes. They do. They use those electrocuting instruments.” After being tortured, detainees were forced to make confessions to a variety of perceived offences, according to the guard. “I have those confessions in my heart,” he said.
President Xi looms large over the camps. His image and slogans adorn the walls; he is a focus of the programme of “re-education”. Xi is the overall architect of the policy against the Uighurs, said Charles Parton, a former British diplomat in China and now senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.
“It is very centralised and it goes to the very top,” Parton said. “There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this is Xi Jinping’s policy.”
It was unlikely that Xi or other top party officials would have directed or authorised rape or torture, Parton said, but they would “certainly be aware of it”.
“I think they prefer at the top just to turn a blind eye. The line has gone out to implement this policy with great sternness, and that is what is happening.” That left “no real constraints”, he said. “I just don’t see what the perpetrators of these acts would have to hold them back.”
According to Ziawudun’s account, the perpetrators did not hold back.
“They don’t only rape but also bite all over your body, you don’t know if they are human or animal,” she said, pressing a tissue to her eyes to stop her tears and pausing for a long time to collect herself.
“They didn’t spare any part of the body, they bit everywhere leaving horrible marks. It was disgusting to look at.”
“I’ve experienced that three times. And it is not just one person who torments you, not just one predator. Each time they were two or three men.”
Later, a woman who slept near Ziawudun in the cell, who said she was detained for giving birth to too many children, disappeared for three days and when she returned her body was covered with the same marks, Ziawudun said.
“She couldn’t say it. She wrapped her arms around my neck and sobbed continuously, but she said nothing.”
The Chinese government did not respond directly to questions from the BBC about allegations of rape and torture. In a statement, a spokeswoman said the camps in Xinjiang were not detention camps but “vocational education and training centres”.
“The Chinese government protects the rights and interests of all ethnic minorities equally,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the government “attaches great importance to protecting women’s rights”.
Ziawudun was released in December 2018 along with others who had spouses or relatives in Kazakhstan – an apparent policy shift she still doesn’t fully understand.
The state returned her passport and she fled to Kazakhstan and then, with the support of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, to the US. She is applying to stay. She lives in a quiet suburb not far from Washington DC with a landlady from the local Uighur community. The two women cook together and take walks in the streets around the house. It’s a slow, uneventful existence. Ziawudun keeps the lights low when she is in the house, because they shone brightly and constantly in the camp. A week after she arrived in the US, she had surgery to remove her womb – a consequence of being stamped on. “I have lost the chance to become a mother,” she said. She wants her husband to join her in the US. For now, he is in Kazakhstan.
中共國歸還了她的護照，她逃到哈薩克斯坦，隨後通過《維吾爾人權項目》（Uyghur Human Rights Project）逃往美國。 她正在申請留在美國。 她生活在一個離華盛頓特區不遠的安靜郊區，房東來自當地的維吾爾族社區。 她與房東一起做飯，在街道散步。 這是一種舒緩，平穩的生活。齊亞烏敦在房間里會把燈光調暗。因為在集中營里，燈光刺眼，並且持續不斷。 到達美國一周後，她接受了子宮切除手術——這是遭受虐待的結果。 她說：“我失去了成為母親的機會。” 她希望丈夫能夠來美國與她會合。 目前，她的丈夫還在哈薩克斯坦。
For a while after her release, before she could flee, Ziawudun waited in Xinjiang. She saw others who had been churned through the system and released. She saw the effect the policy was having on her people. The birth rate in Xinjiang has plummeted in the past few years, according to independent research – an effect analysts have described as “demographic genocide”.
Many in the community had turned to alcohol, Ziawudun said. Several times, she saw her former cellmate collapsed on the street – the young woman who was removed from the cell with her that first night, who she heard screaming in an adjacent room. The woman had been consumed by addiction, Ziawudun said. She was “like someone who simply existed, otherwise she was dead, completely finished by the rapes”.
“They say people are released, but in my opinion everyone who leaves the camps is finished.”
And that, she said, was the plan. The surveillance, the internment, the indoctrination, the dehumanisation, the sterilisation, the torture, the rape.
“Their goal is to destroy everyone,” she said. “And everybody knows it.”
Photographs by Hannah Long-Higgins
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