Uyghurs.. Slavery in Human Rights Era


It seems that detention, poverty, and deprivation of social and religious rights were not enough for the Chinese government in its systematic persecution against the Muslim Uyghurs minority in Xinjiang province, northwest of China; so it added to the list slavery and forced labor for the benefits of major foreign companies and well-known brands.

Recent international reports slammed the practices of the Chinese government that violate the minimal standards of human rights in the twenty-first century, pointing out that more than 80,000 Uyghurs have become slaves in government factories, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute ASPI.

The exclusive report “Uyghur for Sale” released by the Australian institute, indicates that the Chinese government has turned the Uyghurs into slaves working for around 80 various international brands. The report stresses that the detainees are forced to work for very long hours.

Paradoxically, the report reveals that the companies supplied by goods from Chinese factories prevent importing goods produced under forced labor conditions, and these companies include Apple, Sony, Samsung, Adidas, Lacoste and Nike, as well as BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Land Rover and Jaguar.

In light of the inhuman conditions experienced on Uyghur workers in Chinese factories, the report calls for immediate investigations into how Chinese-run factories respect human right, the investigations shall include strict and independent inspections, according to the report which indicates that Uyghur workers are transferred to factories all over China, deprived of their freedom and forced to work under strict supervision.

Talking about violations against the Muslim minority in China wasn’t limited to the Australian report, as UN experts have revealed statistics confirming that Chinese authorities detain around a million Uyghurs under the pretext of rehabilitation and combatting terrorism.

The Chinese authorities’ violations haven’t stopped there, a New York Times’ report reveals that people, particularly children and teenagers under 16- are being closely watched in order to arrest them in case they practice any of their rituals, and that happened within the period between 2017-2019.

The report, based on leaked documents consisting of 137 pages, says that 300 people documented by name are detained in factories, in Karakash province, that Chinese government allegedly says they are rehabilitation and vocational training centers to combat extremism.

Additionally, international researchers talk about other practices against Uyghur, which practices include forcing them to drink alcohol, and prosecution in case of attending any religious ceremonies including funerals. Moreover, anyone who thinks of traveling to perform Haj or Umrah will get arrested.

China practices all these violations under the pretext of maintaining security, Adrian Zenz, a researcher who analyzed the leaked document said.

It’s noteworthy that Chinese authorities have issued a list of forbidden practices for Muslims in China, such as having beards, practicing their religious rituals in birth or death, fasting in the Muslims’ holy month Ramadan or praying. Above all, any Muslim who considers traveling to a country of Muslim majority or even thinks of issuing a passport will be under arrest.

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