Thursday, February 29th 2024

Prisoners inside China's detention camps are constantly subjected to violence

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 03 May 2022, 12:32 pm

Xinjiang: Ovalbek Turdakun was held captive as a prisoner in one of China's renowned detention facilities for ten months in 2018.

He was tortured, subjected to awful circumstances, and constantly monitored.

Turdakun was not allowed to speak in a makeshift courtroom within the detention camp where he was being kept and was forced to sign paperwork he had no time to read.

Turdakun is a Chinese resident and a Kyrgyz, one of a few ethnic gatherings - including Kazakhs, Tajiks, and Uyghurs - who has been accused of fake, while possibly not altogether bogus, charges and kept in large confinement camps across Xinjiang, an area in northwest China where most of the ethnic gatherings reside.

According to U.N. watchdogs, China is suspected to have imprisoned at least a million of its own people in detention camps in recent years, but the total is likely to be higher.

Despite Beijing's continuous denial of human rights violations, China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities has been labelled "genocide" by the Biden administration.

Turdakun can only share this story because he and his family were granted advanced parole, a temporary legal status that allows them to enter the United States after congressional members pushed on their behalf.

Turdakun is an example of the rare group of persons with direct information within China's detainment camps, including private information on how the Chinese government utilizes innovation, observation, and facial recognition to persecute several Xinjiang inhabitants, which the U.S. officials will involve to investigate human right violations in China and the Chinese organizations that supply reconnaissance innovation to the camps.

Healy visited Turdakun and his family in Kyrgyzstan in December, where they had resided for the previous year, to assist them in obtaining their immigration documents for further travel to the United States, despite worries that the Kyrgyz authorities might deport the family back to China, according to Healy.

Turdakun recounted the cells where he would be imprisoned alongside two dozen other detainees for months in an interview with TechCrunch, claiming the cameras, all emblazoned with Hikvision logos, were "always on and watching."

He described how the detainees would be forced to spend hours in silence by the cameras and that they would have little other human contact outside of their cells for long periods; the door would frequently remain shut for long periods, and food would be pushed through an opening in the entryway.

Turdakun was freed in November 2018 under conditions equivalent to home arrest, with a GPS tracker on his wrist that could only be opened with a unique key. Although he was permitted to leave his home and go around his little city, he said that the authorities constantly harassed him.

Hikvision stated it "takes all concerns about human rights extremely seriously" in an emailed statement provided via a public relations agency specializing in crisis management but declined to name a corporate spokesman.

Human rights advocates think the former detaines testimony will be crucial to the case instituted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

In a letter supporting Turdakun's advance release, U.K. attorney Rodney Dixon, leading a team of attorneys gathering evidence of China's human rights abuses, said it was "essential" for him to testify in future cases. Turdakun told TechCrunch that more people should be aware of the situation in Xinjiang.

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