China Creating ‘A Dystopian Hellscape’ In Xinjiang, Amnesty International Says

by : Julia Banim on : 11 Jun 2021 17:22

Warning: Distressing content

China Creating 'A Dystopian Hellscape' In Xinjiang, Amnesty SaysPA Images

Amnesty International has said that China is creating ‘a dystopian hellscape’ in Xinjiang, the north-western region where crimes against humanity are reportedly being committed against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.


In a 160-page report published Thursday, June 10, Amnesty called upon the UN to investigate these ongoing abuses, claiming that large numbers of people were being subjected to mass detention, surveillance, and torture.

This report states that there is evidence to suggest China had committed ‘at least the following crimes against humanity: imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; torture; and persecution’.

Protest in China against treatment of Uyghurs (PA Images)PA Images

The report in question draws from interviews with 55 former detainees of internment camps, providing what Amnesty has described as being ‘the most comprehensive account ever of life inside the internment camps’.


The majority of the former detainees spent between nine to 18 months inside the camps, with the process of detention appearing to be ‘outside the scope of the Chinese criminal justice system or other domestic law’.

One former detainee, named Madi, told Amnesty of how one of his cellmates at the camps had been tortured in front of him and later died:

[The man] was in our room for more than two months… he was made to sit in a tiger chair. [I think the man was being punished for pushing a guard.]… They brought the chair into our room… They told us that if we helped him then we would sit in the chair… It was an iron chair… his arms were cuffed and chained.

Legs were chained as well. His body was tied to the back of the chair… Two [cuffs] were locked around his wrists and legs… A rubber thing attached to the ribs to make the person [sit] up straight… at some point we could see his testicles. He would [urinate and defecate] in the chair. He was in the chair for three nights… He died after he [was taken out of the cell]. We found out through [people] in the cell.

Protest outside UN Building (PA Images)PA Images

As per BBC News, Amnesty’s secretary general Agnès Callamard has accused China of creating ‘a dystopian hellscape on a staggering scale’.

Callamard said:

It should shock the conscience of humanity that massive numbers of people have been subjected to brainwashing, torture and other degrading treatment in internment camps, while millions more live in fear amid a vast surveillance apparatus.

Callamard reportedly went on to accuse UN Secretary General António Guterres of ‘failing to act according to his mandate’, stating that he had ‘not denounced the situation, he has not called for an international investigation’:


It is incumbent on him to protect the values upon which the United Nations has been founded, and certainly not to stay silent in front of crimes against humanity.

China has repeatedly denied all accusations made regarding human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, China, Uighurs, Xinjiang


Amnesty International and 1 other
  1. Amnesty International

    “LIKE WE WERE ENEMIES IN A WAR” China’s Mass Internment, Torture and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang

  2. BBC News

    China has created a dystopian hellscape in Xinjiang, Amnesty report says