The cost of speaking up against China

DM

Women who made allegations last month of rape and sexual abuse in Chinese detention camps have been harassed and smeared in the weeks since. Rights groups say the attacks are typical of an aggressive campaign by China to silence those who speak up. Qelbinur Sedik was making breakfast when the video call came, and the sight of her sister’s name made her nervous. Many months had passed since the two had spoken. In fact, many months had passed since Sedik had spoken to any of her family in China. Sedik was in the kitchen of her temporary home in the Netherlands, where she shared a room with several other refugees, mostly from Africa. Two weeks earlier, she and three other women had spoken to the BBC for a story about alleged rape and torture in China’s secretive detention camps in the Xinjiang region, where Sedik worked as a camp teacher.

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