A new report from the United Nations asserts that it's "reasonable to conclude" that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been subjected to China's forced labor camps, along with other forms of inhumane punishment.
There's also speculation of the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority, being victims of genocide at the hands of the Chinese government.
The report — produced by Tomoya Obokata, the U.N. special rapporteur — likened the forced labor circumstances among Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic groups to a contemporary form of slavery, particularly in agriculture and manufacturing.
Obokata also detailed China's dual-system approach to classifying Uyghurs and others in forced labor situations — "vocational skills education and training center system, under which minorities are detained and subjected to work placements," and also "poverty alleviation through labor transfer system, where surplus rural laborers are transferred into secondary or tertiary sector work."
The Chinese government's policies in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have been the subject of global scrutiny for many years.
More than one million Muslims, mainly Uyghurs, have been detained in "reeducation" centers over the last five years, according to Newsweek.
In 2020, China's top envoy in London reportedly said the centers were "in line with the principles and the spirit" of documents produced by the U.N. The government also said that concerns over forced labor were a misunderstanding of its poverty alleviation measures.
Last month, Newsmax host Greta Van Susteren conducted a two-part interview with Rushan Abbas, a human rights activist who has spoken out against China's alleged Uyghur concentration camps.
Here are some excerpts of Abbas' discussion on "The Record With Greta Van Susteren":
The host asked, what goes on inside the Uyghur camps?
"The most horrific things you can imagine," said Abbas, adding that the camp prisoners are immediately forced to give up any ethnic identity and must forsake their religion.
"They cannot speak their own language. They are forced to speak Chinese," said Abbas, who also heard stories of prisoners being regularly indoctrinated to Chinese political ideology.
"They're subject to inhumane treatment," said Abbas, adding that the prisoners are often deprived of food, water and sleep. They also suffer from poor hygiene, the result of 40 to 50 people being herded in one room together.
The prisoners ''are not given the opportunity to drink enough water," Abbas said, and the lack of sufficient food, water, sleep and proper restroom facilities is a true test "of how long the internal organs can last."
Abbas cites estimated reports of more than three million prisoners in the Uyghur camps, or roughly 25% of the total Uyghur population in China. "But today, the streets are empty [among the general population]."
The Chinese government — which doesn't support ideological religion, characterizing it as a "mental disease," according to Abbas — has demolished mosques and anything else associated with organized religion.
"Basically waging a war on Islam," Abbas said.
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