WASHINGTON - Its country report for China said more than a million Uyghurs and members of mainly Muslim ethnic minority groups had been arbitrarily imprisoned, deprived of their physical liberty, and subjected to forced sterilization, coerced abortions and rape, writes Newsweek.

Beijing's repressive policies in northwest China also included "draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement," said the report covering 2021. An additional two million Muslims were forcibly enrolled in daytime "re-education" classes, the document said.

China justifies the practice—now in its sixth year—as part of a region-wide campaign to root out terrorism and religious extremism. Xinjiang's more than 1,000 internment camps, Beijing says, are "vocational training centers," from which learners "graduate" and are assigned work, either locally or in other provinces, in a move the U.S. considers forced labor.

"Since 2017 the government used this broad definition of extremism to detain more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in re-education or detention centers, designed to instill patriotism and erase their religious and ethnic identities," the report said. Last year, China "intensified the use of state-sponsored forced labor in detention camps, prisons, and factories in and outside Xinjiang."