China Forcing Sterilization, Enslavement of Minorities, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Says

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum released a report on Tuesday describing evidence they have compiled showing the Chinese government's repression of the Uyghur people of the Xinjiang region.

The museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide created the 59-page report, titled To Make Us Slowly Disappear: The Chinese Government's Assault on the Uyghurs, highlighting forced sterilization, prohibition of religious and cultural expression, torture, enslavement and more.

The report cites first-person testimony as well as publicly available information provided by dissidents.

Tom Bernstein, the chairman of the museum's Committee on Conscience, told the Associated Press that the Chinese government has done its best to keep all this information in the dark.

"The Chinese government must halt its attacks on the Uyghur people and allow independent international monitors to investigate and ensure that the crimes have stopped," Bernstein said.

Simon-Skjodt Center Director Naomi Kikoler told AP she hopes the report serves as a wake-up call and pressures the Chinese government to stop what they are doing in Xinjiang.

"The Chinese government's assault on the Uyghur community—marked by the incarceration of between one [million] and three million people as well as abuses such as forced sterilization, torture, sexual violence, and forced labor—is alarming in scale and severity," Kikoler said.

"The damage inflicted upon Uyghur individuals, families, and their community has left deep physical and emotional scars. The trauma from these atrocities will harm generations of Uyghurs."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum says it has compiled evidence of increasing government repression against Uyghur Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region. Above, people visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 2020. Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. government has already determined that China's actions against Xinjiang's Uyghur Muslim and other minority populations amount to genocide.

China has said that allegations of rights abuses are lies. Just last month, China's U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun attacked a statement signed by 43 countries condemning the reported torture and repression of Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, where foreign governments and researchers say an estimated 1 million people or more have been confined in camps.

Zhang denounced "the groundless accusations" and unfounded "lies" and accused the United States and other signatories of poisoning the atmosphere of cooperation and "using human rights as a pretext for political maneuvering to provoke confrontation."

Echoing the Chinese government's long-standing position, he strongly defended Beijing's efforts to develop Xinjiang, saying the lives of its people are getting better by the day and "your plot to obstruct China's development is doomed to failure."

AP reported in October that China's control of Xinjiang had entered a new era in the four years since Beijing launched the brutal crackdown that swept up to a million or more Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities into detention camps and prisons.

Chinese authorities have scaled back many of the most draconian and visible aspects of the region's high-tech police state, including razor wire that once ringed public buildings, AP reported after two visits to Xinjiang.

Xinjiang, China, Uyghurs
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum says it has compiled evidence of increasing government repression against Uyghur Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region. Above, police officers stand at the outer entrance of the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Urumqi No. 3, China's largest detention center, is twice the size of Vatican City and has room for at least 10,000 inmates. Mark Schiefelbein, File/AP Photo