Sayragul Sauytbay is a Chinese Muslim of Kazakh descent who escaped en route to one of the notorious Xinjiang province concentration camps for Muslims in 2018, after she was sentenced to serve as a regular inmate following her release after more than a year's incarceration as a camp teacher; after she escaped into Kazakhstan, she was given asylum in Sweden.
Sauytbay, a 43 year old teacher, says she was taken by armed guards to a concentration camp in November 2017, where she was forced to watch as other Muslim women were gang-raped by guards; she says that inmates who expressed disgust or outrage were led away and never seen again.
Sauytbay says she was under constant video-surveillance, forced to sleep in overcrowded conditions with a bucket to use as a toilet, and with access to the bucket limited to a few minutes a day, and with the bucket only emptied once/day.
Sauytbay says that inmates were also forced to serve as subjects in dangerous medical experiments, and that some victims of this treatment were "cognitively weakened" or stopped having their periods and became sterile.
The "re-education" components of Sauytbay's incarceration included forced conscumption of pork and a requirement to chant pro-China, pro-Xi Jinping slogans. Inmates were forbidden to speak, laugh, cry or answer questions.
Ms Sautybay said women were systematically raped and that she was forced to watch a woman be repeatedly assaulted.
“The policemen ordered her to disrobe and simply raped her one after the other, in front of everyone,” she told Haaretz.
“While they were raping her they checked to see how we were reacting. People who turned their head or closed their eyes, and those who looked angry or shocked, were taken away and we never saw them again.
“It was awful. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to help her.”
She added: “On an everyday basis the policemen took the pretty girls with them, and they didn’t come back to the rooms all night.”