China cuts Uighur births with IUDs, abortion, sterilizationJune 29, 2020
Officials and armed police began pounding on doors, looking for kids and pregnant women. Minority residents were ordered to attend weekly flag-raising ceremonies, where officials threatened detention if they didn’t register all their children, according to interviews backed by attendance slips and booklets. Notices found by the AP show that local governments set up or expanded systems to reward those who report illegal births.
In some areas, women were ordered to take gynecology exams after the ceremonies, they said. In others, officials outfitted special rooms with ultrasound scanners for pregnancy tests.
A former teacher drafted to work as an instructor at a detention camp described her experience with IUDs to the AP.
She said it started with flag-raising assemblies at her compound in the beginning of 2017, where officials made Uighur residents recite “anti-terror” lessons. They chanted, “If we have too many children, we’re religious extremists….That means we have to go to the training centers.”
Police rounded up over 180 parents with too many children until “not a single one was left,” she said. At night, she said, she lay in bed, stiff with terror, as officers with guns and tasers hauled her neighbors away. From time to time police pounded on her door and searched her apartment for Qurans, knives, prayer mats and of course children, she said.
“Your heart would leap out of your chest,” she said.
Then, that August, officials in the teacher’s compound were told to install IUDs on all women of childbearing age. She protested, saying she was nearly 50 with just one child and no plans to have more. Officials threatened to drag her to a police station and strap her to an iron chair for interrogation.
She was forced into a bus with four armed officers and taken to a hospital where hundreds of Uighur women lined up in silence, waiting for IUDs to be inserted. Some wept quietly, but nobody dared say a word because of the surveillance cameras hanging overhead.
Her IUD was designed to be irremovable without special instruments. The first 15 days, she got headaches and nonstop menstrual bleeding.
“I couldn’t eat properly, I couldn’t sleep properly. It gave me huge psychological pressure,” she said. “Only Uighurs had to wear it.”