CHINA – (ChinaAid) Under extreme danger to himself, a prisoner just released from a so-called “political training center” in China’s northwest Xinjiang described the unspeakable atrocities he and others experienced.

Risking his own life, a Kazakh prisoner who was just freed from a jail known for subjecting ethnic minorities to harsh treatment told ChinaAid that people inside such centers, officially dubbed “political training centers,” were only allowed three steamed buns per day. “We didn’t get to eat any proper food. During the Spring Festival, we ate dumplings made by Han people, and it was the only time that we didn’t starve. Many prisoners told me that they didn’t know why they were arrested.”

“We were forced to learn Chinese and sing the national anthem from dawn to dusk,” he said. “We couldn’t leave the cell during the daytime, either. We couldn’t breathe fresh air or see the sun. many people got sick. Additionally, the inmates couldn’t inquire about each other’s family or the crimes [they supposedly] committed. Most of the prisoners are at the brink of insanity.”

Additionally, he said the prison officials limited them to two hours of sleep each night. Everyday, another prisoner would wake them when their time was up, a system the guards claimed prevented suicide.

“[We prisoners would] rather be sentenced to 10 years in prison,” he said. “If we have a definite sentence, we can at least sleep properly. We would rather do heavy work than be tortured for no reason.”

He also said many of them tried to commit suicide.

Image: Outside of a camp dedicated to imprisoning ethnic minorities, located in Lopnur, Xinjiang (Credits: ChinaAid).