LONDON - Chinese people are being paid to marry Muslims in order to wipe out the Uyghur population, a human rights body has said. Local authorities are using financial incentives and blackmail to force Uyghurs and members of the Han majority into arranged marriages in China’s western Xinjiang region, according to a report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), a Washington-based nonprofit.

The report draws from official policy documents, social media posts and interviews with Uyghurs abroad.

Xinjiang officials have been offering cash rewards as well as housing and education subsidies, jobs and medical cover to Uyghur women willing to marry Han men – as well as reportedly threatening the women that they or their family could end up in internment camps if they refuse.

In one instance, officials from Kalasa village in Aksu Prefecture offered 40,000 yuan (£4,750) to two mixed Uyghur-Han couples as part of the village’s “National Unity, One Family” campaign, according to local media. Similarly, the ancient city of Kashgar put aside 20,000 yuan (£2,380) annually for “ethnic intermarriage awards”, according to official documents.

An Uyghur woman abroad said her neighbours “had to agree to wed their 18-year-old daughter to a Han Chinese out of fear that they could be sent to internment camps”.