In China’s Xinjiang, forced medication accompanies lockdownAugust 31, 2020
The government in China’s far northwest Xinjiang region is resorting to draconian measures to combat the coronavirus, including spraying detainees with acidic disinfectant, physically locking residents in homes, imposing strict quarantines of more than 40 days and arresting those who do not comply.
Furthermore, in what experts call a breach of medical ethics, some residents are being coerced into swallowing traditional Chinese medicine despite a lack of rigorous clinical data proving it works, according to government notices, social media posts, and interviews with three people in quarantine in Xinjiang.
One middle-aged Uighur woman told the AP that when she was detained at the height of China’s coronavirus outbreak, she was forced to drink a medicine that made her feel weak and nauseous. She and others in her cell had to strip naked once a week as guards hosed them and their cells down with disinfectant, she said.
“It was scalding,” recounted the woman by phone from Xinjiang, declining to be named out of fear of retribution. “My hands were ruined, my skin was peeling.”
After over a month in detention, the Uighur woman was released and locked into her home. Once a day, she says, community workers force white unmarked bottles of traditional medicine on her, saying she’ll be detained if she doesn’t drink them.