'I was always in fear – I thought they would kill me': Muslim women describe torture at hands of Chinese authorities in Xinjiang

Gulaisha Oralbai, 46, holds a photograph of her four siblings, all of whom she believes to be detained in by Chinese authorities in "re-education" camps

By Sophia Yan, in almaty
13 APRIL 2019 • 4:04PM
In the confines of a cramped, dark room, Aigerim was kicked repeatedly in the stomach by a guard wearing heavy, metal-tipped boots. With her mouth taped shut and limbs chained, she couldn’t cry out in pain or block the blows.

In the weeks after those traumatic 24 hours, her abdomen swelled as if she were pregnant. Her periods stopped, and high fevers would come and go. Months after being released from one of China’s internment camps for Muslims, Aigerim, who is in her early 20s, is still struggling to understand her injuries, and is terrified they may have destroyed her dream of becoming a mother. 

“Doctors here in Almaty say there’s internal injury in my uterus,” Aigerim, whose name has been...