New Delhi/Urumqi, Aug 18 (IANS) Authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime have built a public toilet on the site of a mosque after demolishing it in Xinjiang province and also ordered forcible abortions of pregnant women as part of a campaign against the Uyghur Muslims.
As per the reports of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a public toilet has been erected on the site of the demolished Tokul mosque in Suntagh village of Atush city and hospitals have been “forced to abort and kill babies born in excess of family planning limits or who were in utero less than three years after the mother’s previous birth”, in what is called the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The region was captured by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1949 and assimilated into China completely by 1955.
Since then, Uyghurs have been seeking independence but as the resistance movement against the authoritarian rule of the CCP, grew bigger, Beijing cracked down on the human rights of the minority community.
Around 1.8 million Muslim Uyghurs and other Muslims have been detained under Xi Jinping’s regime in Xinjiang’s camps where they are being cleansed of their ethno-religious views and identity since 2017.
RFA reported that the authorities had razed two of three mosques in Suntagh village, “carrying out a directive to destroy Muslim places of worship en masse”.
The drive against mosques was launched in late 2016 as a “part of a series of hardline policies under top leader Xi Jinping”.
Suntagh village in Atush, is a county-level city of about 270,000 people under the administration of Kashgar prefecture in the cotton- and grape-growing region of southwestern XUAR, RFA reported.
Quoting the village committee chief, RFA said that the Tokul mosque was demolished in 2018 and a lavatory built upon it even as people in the village have toilets at home.
“The committee chief said that with Suntagh located about 3 km outside of central Atush, the area sees few to no tourists who would require access to a washroom,” RFA reported.
The toilet was likely built to cover up the ruins of the destroyed Tokul mosque, as well as for the needs of inspecting groups or cadres visiting the area, RFA quoted the village head as saying.
In 2019, the Azna mosque had been replaced with “a convenience store” that sells alcohol and cigarettes, the use of which is frowned upon in Islam, RFA said.
Besides, the Bastaggam mosque has been destroyed while Teres mosque, the smallest, is in the poorest condition of all three.
RFA said the authorities have destroyed 70 per cent of the mosques in the region under the ‘mosque rectification’ campaign.
In addition to mosques, Chinese authorities have been systematically destroying Muslim cemeteries and other religious structures and sites across Xinjiang since 2016, the RFA said.
Last year, the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) published a report, titled ‘Demolishing Faith: The Destruction and Desecration of Uyghurs Mosques and Shrines’, which was based on a study using geo-location and other techniques.
It showed that anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 mosques, shrines, and other religious sites in the region were destroyed between 2016 and 2019.
Quoting German researcher Adrian Zenz’s report, the RFA said that there has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the number of forced sterilizations and abortions targeting Uyghur Muslims in the region, amounting to a government-led campaign of genocide under UN definitions.
RFA’s Uyghur Service quoted several people who narrated how hospital maternity wards implemented family-planning policies that restrict Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to three children in rural areas and two in urban centres.
Enforcement of restrictions requiring women to space out pregnancies by at least three years included killing newborns who had been born after being carried to full term, the report said.