Chinese authorities have forced Uyghur Muslims to eat pork dumplings during a festival in a purported attempt to eradicate the minority group’s culture.
Beijing’s officials served the forbidden food items to residents in Xinjiang, and those who refused to consume them would be sent into re-education camps, Germany based World Uyghur Congress said. Notably, pork is forbidden in Islam and it is not eaten by most Muslims.
The news comes as the Chinese government is accused of carrying out ‘demographic genocide’ against the Uyghur Muslim population by allegedly forcing birth control onto local women.
While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an Associated Press investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with ex-detainees and family members.
The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilisation and even abortion on hundreds of thousands. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilisation has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang.
The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, the AP found, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines. Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.
The millions of dollars the government pours into birth control has transformed Xinjiang from one of China’s fastest-growing regions to among its slowest in just a few years, according to new research obtained by The Associated Press in advance of publication by China scholar Adrian Zenz.
“This kind of drop is unprecedented… there’s a ruthlessness to it,” said Zenz, a leading expert in the policing of China’s minority regions. “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uyghurs.”