An Uyghur Muslim who claims to have been brutally tortured in a Chinese concentration camp says he was prepared to have his organs harvested.
Kazakh Omir Beali is one of the few inmates to have escaped from camps in China’s Xinjiang region.
Omir, who had visited China frequently for running a tourism company, was bundled into a vehicle by police officers when he visited his mother in Turpan, Xinjiang, in May 2017.
Suggestions that he had invited Chinese to Kazakhstan and assisted them with visa paperwork were soon replaced by accusations of “inciting terrorism”, The Mirror reported.
He was locked up in a police station for over a week with his hands handcuffed and a hood over his head before a doctor came to draw blood and check his organs.
Omir believes he was being prepared to have his organs harvested. Shortly afterwards, he says he was tortured with an iron whip and that his hands were smashed with hammers.
About one million Muslims of Kazakh and Uyghur backgrounds are thought to have been locked up by the state against their will in what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) emphatically calls “re-education camps.”
Omir told Mirror Online, “I was tied to a chair called a tiger chair. All my flesh was pinned down with wood and my hands were smashed with a pair of hammers.
“They beat me on the back and the front with iron whips.”
At one point, ropes were tied to Omir’s hands and feet and he was lifted into the air so that his stomach could be beaten from below, in a method called ‘the flying person’.
The 44-year-old continued: “I was in prison for seven months and ten days. I was almost scared and lost hope for a while. I was only tortured on the feet, but not on the internal organs.
‘They left them perfect. They never touched them. ‘
Omir, who said the regime is committing genocide and calling on the West to intervene, was only released when his wife was campaigning in Kazakhstan.
She also wrote to the country’s Chinese ambassador, who relayed the complaint to his Chinese counterpart, who successfully lobbied for Omir’s release.
While the details of Omir’s experience are impossible to verify, the fact that he was detained is confirmed by an official release from the Karamay City remand center.
Since his release, Omir has fled to Turkey, where he has worked to uncover the situation in Xinjiang.
He claims to have received death threats from Chinese officials after going public.
To publicize his story, Omir has joined forces with the China Tribunal, an independent group of lawyers based in the UK who have investigated claims of organ harvesting in China.
The CCP has long argued that its policy of re-education was created to eradicate Uyghur militarism that it claims is widespread in the northwest of the country, where separatists have historically fought for freedoms.
The World Uyghur Congress argues that these claims are exaggerated and that the movement is peaceful and non-violent.