Sayragul Sautbay, one of the victims of Chinese “re-education” camps, has revealed Uighur Muslims are forced to eat pork meat every Friday.
Pork is strictly prohibited in Islam as it is labelled haraam.
In a new book she detailed about the sexual abuse, physical abuse, forced sterilisation and ill-treatment of Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang province.
Sayragul was kept in a “re-education camp” in China’s westernmost region of Xinjiang and was released two years ago.
She told Aljazeera: “Every Friday, we were forced to eat pork meat. They have intentionally chosen a day that is holy for the Muslims. And if you reject it, you would get a harsh punishment. I was feeling like I was a different person. All around me got dark. It was really difficult to accept.”
China does not allow media or human rights organisations to visit these camps in Xinjiang. Muslims who manage to flee these camps claim they promote ethnic genocide where the non-dominant Chinese communities are forced to practice the dominant Chinese Han culture.
Some reports add Muslim women are subjected to forced abortions to reduce their population. Several mosques and religious structures of the Uighur community have also been destroyed by Beijing.
Many experts have termed the move “the attempted ethnic cleansing” of Uighur Muslims that aims to strip them of their religious and ethnic identity and assimilate them into the dominant Han Chinese ethnicity.
While Uighur Muslims are often subjected to re-educational programmes, forced labour and digital surveillance, their children are indoctrinated in orphanages.
This tension between Han Chinese (natives of China) and Uighur Muslims dates back to 1931 to claim the Xinjiang province.
The Chinese government took advantage of the 9/11 attacks in the US to justify harsh security measures and religious restrictions in the name of “national security”.
Reportedly, Uighur Muslims have been the subject of a massive crackdown since 2017. They have been held up in prisons for praying, travelling abroad or even using social media under the pretext of containing “religious extremism”.
In 2019, the year of the pig according to Chinese zodiac, couplets “Happy year of the pig; make a fortune in the year of the pig” were forcibly posted on the doors of Uighurs’ houses in some villages of Xinjiang.
According to researcher Zenz, two counties and townships have directed authorities to leave no “blind spots”, contain illegal births and decrease fertility levels. His report also describes a new farm in the southern Kashgar area, which aims to produce 40,000 pigs every year.
Despite such accusations, the Chinese government has maintained these detention camps are just “vocational training centres” and the human rights of the over a million people who have been arbitrarily detained have not been violated.
It has continued to defend its policies, claiming the objective is to combat the “three evils of extremism, separatism and terrorism”.