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Uighur Muslim wives forced to share bed while husband detained

The Chinese men spent the weeks in the household when their husbands away from home.

Uighur Muslim wives forced to share bed while husband detained
Photo: AFP

BEIJING: In a startling revelation, Chinese authorities forced married Muslim women to regularly sleep in the same bed with officials while their husbands are being indoctrinated in re-education camps.

According to a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report that cited unnamed Chinese officials, Uighur wives from China’s Xinjiang Province were monitored by the male officials sent by government when their spouses are under detention.

Titled the “Pair up and Become Family” program, the ruling Communist Party cadre, who are called “relatives” (but not actually related) spent the weeks in the household when their husbands away from home.

“They help [the families] with their ideology, bringing new ideas. They talk to them about life, during which time they develop feelings for one another,” a government source with intimate knowledge of the program told Radio Free Asia.

“We also try to help them to make proper [sleeping] arrangements . . . it is now considered normal for females to sleep on the same platform with their paired male ‘relatives.’”

Absolutely repulsive

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., tweeted that the report was “absolutely repulsive.”

“It’s difficult to imagine a more intimate form of political violence against an already terrorized minority,” she wrote.

“The United States must speak out about the systemized enslavement and attempted cultural obliteration of the Uyghurs.”

Xinjiang -open air prison

China’s all-encompassing security crackdown in Xinjiang has turned the northwest region — home to most of the country’s ethnic Uighur population — into a place activists describe as an open air prison.

Upwards of one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in the region are held in re-education camps, according to estimates cited by a UN panel in 2018.

And for those living outside the camps, ubiquitous ID checks and tight security are a part of daily life.

The United States blacklisted 28 Chinese entities over their alleged roles in rights violations in Xinjiang and said it would also curb visas for officials involved in “detention or abuse” of minorities.

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