Washington D.C., Apr 1, 2020 / 15:00 pm
Chinese authorities have been accused of forcing Muslim Uyghurs to work in factories as the coronavirus pandemic spread in the country. One religious freedom expert told CNA that the Communist government could be trafficking in slave labor.
During the early months of 2020-as the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases ballooned in China-there was "a huge increase in the amount of Uyghurs who have been assigned, or 'graduated' from these camps and assigned to work in factories," Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told CNA.
"So there does seem to be, this year, in January, this surge in the amount of Uyghurs that have been transferred from the camps over to the factories," she said.
As many as 1.8 million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities are estimated to have been detained in camps by Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Victims of the camps or their family members have reported political indoctrination, starvation, torture, beatings, and even forced sterilizations in the camps.