– We’ve been hearing screams from the black room 24 hours a day – VG

- We've been hearing screams from the black room 24 hours a day - VG
Electric chair: Sayragul Sauytbay (47) described extensive torture in Chinese captivity.

Stories of imprisonment, rape and coercion to sterilize medicines. On Monday, Uyghur women appeared in Parliament to tell their stories from China.


– One night in January 2017, I was arrested by the Chinese police in my house. She was beaten and taken away.

Sayragul Sauytbay, 47, begins her story with a clear, calm voice.

On Monday morning, she and three other Uighurs stood on a pulpit in a room in the attic in a side building of the Norwegian parliament telling Norwegian politicians their testimony from the mass internment camps in Xinjiang province, China.

Sauytbay describes a camp with 2,500 prisoners from the Uyghur minority, with the youngest being 13 and the oldest 84. They were all skinheaded, practiced in chains, and were under surveillance by cameras at all times.

– The camp had a particularly scary room called the “Black Room”. There we suffered all forms of torture. I sat in an electric chair and was subjected to electric torture. I passed out and was sure I was going to die, she says.

Uyghur allegations of torture, forced medical treatment and sexual violence are credible, The United Nations concluded a report earlier this fall.

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However, China called the report “Untruthful”The Chinese embassy denied the allegations. The embassy told VG on Friday that the four Uyghurs invited to Parliament were “not reliable” and called them “incorrect”. Read more of the embassy’s response below in the article.

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What Sayutbay says in Oslo on Monday has many people in the hall of the European Parliament burst into tears.

– All the while, female prisoners were raped. One day we were put in line in a big hall, where the police raped the women in front of all of us.

– We used to hear screams from the “black room” 24 hours a day.

In 2018, Sayutbay managed to escape, and in 2019 she came to Sweden, where she now lives.

“Number 9”: Gulbahar Haitwagi says she and other prisoners are only referred to by numbers.

Talking about sterilization

Uyghur Gulbahar Haitiwagi, 56, has been living in France since 2006, but during a visit back home in 2016, she was also arrested, she tells Norwegian politicians.

During Monday’s parliamentary hearing, she said she was accused of “gathering people with the intention of destroying peace and order in society”.

She said she was stripped of her passport, had her body examined, a black headscarf was placed over her head, and her arms and legs were tied. Then she was placed in a cell intended for nine people, where at any one time there were 30-40 other prisoners.

All of us women were given an injection that the prison guards claimed was anti-cold. The result was that menstruation stopped and the woman lost her fertility, she said.

Gulbahar says she and the other prisoners are only referred to by numbers. It was No. 9.

In August 2019, she got her passport back and was told she could return to France. She is said to have received a clear message that if she told anyone about the camps, “it would have dire consequences for her family in China”.

– At first I was terrified of the family, but in the end I decided to say, she says.

Since then, Gulbahar has not been able to reach his family. She had no idea if they were still alive.

Forced operation: Kalibinuer Sidike says she has been sterilized by the Chinese authorities.

Kalibinuer Sidike, 53, says she was arrested in 2018. In the second camp I came to, she claims there were several thousand women in a huge six-story building.

– The police and army are watching, and they are armed as if they are going to war. Our heads were shaved and we had little hope of surviving, she said.

They are said to have received the medication every Monday which means they have never had their monthly periods again. She says Sidike did not run away either.

– In March 2019, I was taken to the hospital and they forced me to undergo surgery and sterilize me.

In the end, the daughter of a friend, who was living in Holland, was able to arrange the release of her mother. Her husband had to stay. She says he is still imprisoned.

Omar Bakali (46 years old), who also spoke in Parliament, He already told his story to VG.

Forced to Guilt: Omar Bakali, 46, also testified during Monday’s hearing. The authorities had a prepared list of the crimes he was forced to commit under torture.

Chinese Embassy: Claims that witnesses are not credible

Prior to the weekend, VG was in contact with the Chinese Embassy in Norway regarding Monday’s session. Then they wrote to VG that, according to them, the invited Uyghurs “have no credibility” and that their descriptions are “incorrect”.

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Furthermore, the embassy wrote to VG that the UN report, which goes so far as to suggest that China is behind gross human rights violations in its treatment of Uyghurs, is “completely illegal” and incorrect.

VG asked new questions to the embassy on Monday, but has yet to receive any answer.

Shaken: Gauri Melby of Venstre with Sayragul Sauytbay after the hearing.

Norwegian politicians shook

After the testimony, Chinese researcher Adrian Zenz also participated in the hearing.

– There is no evidence of major mass killings of Uyghurs carried out by the Chinese authorities, but preventing births in a minority is also part of the concept of genocide, he said during the hearing.

The Norwegian politicians who participated were deeply moved by what they heard.

– These are the people who have been captured without law or judgment. They are subjected to the most horrific abuses and carry with them traumas from which they will never get rid of. There is no doubt that we must do what we can to defend these people, says Finster leader Gorey Melby.

Rasmus Hanson of the Millennium Development Goals says the reports mean parliament must take action.

Meeting people face to face makes a difference, not just getting these stories from a comfortable distance. We cannot remain silent about this. We cannot sit idly by and let this pass for political or economic reasons. Now we know enough, and we will do everything we can for the Norwegian parliament to speak more clearly, he says.

Witnesses collected: Uyghurs were transferred to Norway from their current places of residence throughout Europe, on the occasion of the hearing in Parliament.

– It’s happening now while we’re sitting here. I feel like those who were too afraid of the consequences of mentioning this might have had a few krona and reputation, but here’s where people are completely affected. Several million babies will not be born as a result of this treatment, says Dag-Inge Ulstein of KrF.

Andreas Sjalg Unneland from SV is also distinguished:

– It is very horrible to hear the stories of survivors. I think all elected officials benefit from listening directly to the people who have experienced it. He says it makes a strong impression.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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