China is reportedly sending men to sleep in the same beds as Uighur Muslim women while their husbands are in prison

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China is reportedly sending men to sleep in the same beds as Uighur Muslim women while their husbands are in prison camps

Chinese men assigned to monitor the homes of Uighur Muslim women whose husbands were sent to prison camps frequently sleep in the same beds as them, Radio Free Asia reported.

It appears to be another facet of the Communist Party’s hardline campaign against the mostly-Muslim Uighur people in their home region of Xinjiang, in western China, over the past two years.

Beijing sees all Uighur people as terrorists and has used Islamophobia to justify its actions in the past.

Authorities have detained at least 1 million Uighurs in prison-like camps, euphemistically called re-education centers. Activists have likened the campaign to ethnic cleansing.

Since 2017, China has run a Pair Up and Become Family program in the region, in which Communist Party officials who are Han Chinese the ethnic group that makes up most of China’s population stay in Uighur homes.

The program is to promote ethnic unity, officials say, but it also lets the government keep a close eye on the Uighurs.

Those officials, who are mostly men, typically stay for up to six days at each Uighur household, many of which have male family members in detention.

A government official scanning a QR code on the wall of a house in Xinjiang that gives him access to the residents' personal information.
A government official scanning a QR code on the wall of a house in Xinjiang that gives him access to the residents’ personal information.

Normally one or two people sleep in one bed, and if the weather is cold, three people sleep together, and that it is now considered normal for females to sleep on the same platform with their paired male relatives.


RFA said a local neighborhood official in Yengisar County, where Kashgar is, confirmed the sleeping arrangements but insisted that relatives and their female hosts always keep a distance of three feet between them at night.

Both officials cited in RFA’s article claimed that male Communist Party officials had never tried to take advantage of the women.

The official in Kashgar told RFA that the Uighur families were very keen to welcome the Han Chinese men into their homes.

It is almost impossible to hear from Uighurs in Xinjiang, as any communication with journalists or people outside the region can land them in detention.

Uighurs living abroad previously told Business Insider that their relatives in the region had blocked them online to avoid being punished for communicating with outsiders.

Sayragul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh Uighur woman who fled a Xinjiang detention camp, told Haaretz that she witnessed a gang rape and medical experiments on other prisoners. She said she was also subject to beatings and food deprivation because another prisoner hugged her.


Chinese officials have forbidden all foreign journalists from entering the region, though two Vice reporters sneaked in as tourists and took undercover footage earlier this year.

The government has also arranged highly staged trips to detention camps for foreign journalists and inspectors in the past.

Rep. Jackie Speier of California tweeted that the RFA story was “absolutely repulsive” and urged the U.S. to speak out about the systemized enslavement and attempted cultural obliteration of the Uighurs.

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