The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is taking advantage of the current pandemic of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) to increase repression against the Uighur ethnic group in the Xinjiang region of northeast China.

According to an anonymous woman who told The Associated Press (AP), CCP authorities locked her up for more than a month in a detention center along with dozens of other women, and as soon as she was released she was confined to her home despite not testing positive for the CCP Virus.

She claimed that she was forced to ingest traditional Chinese medicine in unmarked bottles under the threat of arrest, which she said made her nauseated and feel weak, not to mention that she and the other inmates had to strip naked every week to hosed down with disinfectant.

In addition, many in the detention centers are forced to ingest medication without a prescription, which experts have called a violation of medical ethics. The effectiveness of such treatments are not subject to rigorous data gathering demonstrating their effectiveness.

Some of the medicines also contain ingredients that are banned in Western countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

Although state media promotes the idea that the CCP Virus treatment program with such medicine has a “100%” participation rate, Xinjiang residents have few options nor are they allowed to voice opinions about it.

Even the World Health Organization, which maintains close relations with the Chinese Communist Party and has been accused of helping it to cover up information that was crucial for the international community to act on the outbreak of the virus; in March it was given the task of removing from its website the guidance that denied the effectiveness of such treatments.

Meanwhile, authorities in the region have resorted to implementing forced confinement of residents in their homes and they face prolonged quarantines of up to more than 40 days. Those who do not comply with the measures are detained, according to the AP.

AP noted that in early June, in the face of more than 300 recorded cases, authorities in Beijing implemented less restrictive measures, closing some neighborhoods for a few weeks. 

Xinjiang in lockdown

In contrast, more than half of Xinjiang’s 25 million people are under a blockade that extends hundreds of miles from the center of the outbreak in the capital of Urumqi. Although the measures have also affected the residents of Han in Xinjiang, they are not subjected to the extra-judicial actions like the ethnic minorities.

As the AP indicated, while in other Chinese provinces such as Wuhan or Hubei, which also faced similar restrictions, residents were not forced to take medicine or be hosed down.

On social networks, residents have used social media to report the mistreatment they receive from the Chinese authorities, even though the same authorities employ efforts to reduce the impact of their messages.

According to an article by Emily Feng, Beijing correspondent for National Public Radio, “Most of the posts were soon deleted, and several accounts suspended. Videos shared on the platform by frustrated residents show Xinjiang residents cuffed to window bars and balcony railings outside their homes, a punishment for violating home quarantine rules.”

The repression directed at Uighur Muslims is due to the fact that, as the human rights magazine Bitter Winter pointed out, the CCP considers any movement that preaches freedom of worship or claims to be independent is a problem.

Under the label of ‘separatism’ or ‘terrorism’, since 2017 the CCP has been establishing measures to put pressure on the ethnic minority that demands real autonomy in the region. Among the most documented measures are the beloved “re-education camps” where prisoners are subjected to brainwashing, indoctrination, and punishment.

However, repression directed at ethnic Muslims is only part of the extensive record of human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

The spiritual discipline known as Falun Gong has become a topic of interest to human rights experts who have investigated the massive abuses suffered by its practitioners since 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party implemented a campaign of persecution due to Falun Gong’s popularity throughout the country.