US ‘deeply disturbed’ by reports of systematic rape in China’s Xinjiang camps

The United States has said it is “deeply disturbed” and the UK government has come under further pressure to impose sanctions following reports of systematic rape and sexual torture of women detained in China’s Xinjiang camps.

A BBC report on Wednesday detailed allegations of rape, sexual abuse and torture of ethnic Uighur and other Muslim women, based on interviews with several former detainees and a guard. The interviewees told the BBC “they experienced or saw evidence of an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture”.

A US state department spokesperson said such “atrocities shock the conscience and must be met with serious consequences” and demanded China allow “immediate and independent investigations by international observers” into the rape allegations.