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China rejects accusation that it is sterilising Uighur women

CHINESE authorities have denied “baseless” claims that they are carrying out a programme of sterilisations and forced abortions among ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang.

A new report by Christian evangelist Adrian Zenz has denounced what it calls “a demographic campaign of genocide” in the Chinese autonomous region, based on his studies of online documents.

Mr Zenz says that women have been fitted with involuntary contraceptives and that the birth rate among ethnic Uighurs has fallen suspiciously behind Han Chinese. He also claims that women who refuse abortions are threatened with internment in re-education camps.

A lecturer at the European School of Culture and Theology, the German base of US evangelical seminary Columbia International University, Mr Zenz gained international fame with claims last year that “up to 1.5 million” Uighurs had been interned in camps, claims he admitted were “speculative” at a launch hosted by the US mission in Geneva but which received extensive media coverage. 

A study by website The Grayzone later revealed that his sole authority for the figure was a single interview given on Istiqlal TV, a Uighur separatist TV channel based in Turkey.

He has also attracted controversy for his hard-right Christian views — as co-author of Worthy to Escape, a 2012 end-times tract which denounced gay liberation, equality between the sexes and bans on smacking children as part of the “suppression of biblical Christianity” — and is a fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a US-government founded institution that developed from the National Captive Nations Committee set up by Ukrainian nazi collaborators after the second world war

China has dismissed the report as “fake news,” saying that all nationalities have equal rights under law. 

Ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs were exempt from the one-child policy introduced across China from 1979, but their rights have aligned with Han Chinese since the one-child policy was shifted to a two-child policy in recent years.

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