“They injected us from time to time,” claimed Gulbahar Jalilova, who was held for more than a year in government “re-education centres” in the far-west Xinjiang region.
“We had to stick our arms out through a small opening in the door,” the 54-year-old told France24. ”We soon realised that after our injections that we didn’t get our periods any more.”
Most of her time was spent with up to 50 people packed into a cell measuring just 10ft by 20ft. “It’s like we were just piece of meat,” she added.
A similar account was given by 30-year-old Mehrigul Tursun during a video call to an Amnesty International event in Tokyo, as reported by the Nikkei Asian Review.
Ms Tursun, who now lives in exile in the US, told of being given unknown drugs and injections while detained at an internment camp in 2017.
She said she felt “tired for about a week, lost my memories and felt depressed” and was released four months later after being diagnosed as being mentally ill.
Doctors in the US later told her that she had been sterilised, she said
Up to one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities have been arbitrarily detained in internment camps, according the UN and human rights groups.
Researchers have claimed the facilities are being run like “wartime concentration camps” as part of a “systematic campaign of social re-engineering and cultural genocide”.
The Chinese government however has described them as “boarding schools” offering vocational training and rejected allegations of torture and other abuses as “fake news”.
Former detainees have previously told of torture, beatings and electrocution as well as being forced to eat pork, attend political re-education lessons and sing political songs.
The global outcry over China’s treatment of minority groups has had little effect, however. Last week it was reported that China is building even more secret camps.