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The United States is “deeply disturbed” by reports of systematic rape and sexual abuse against women in internment camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the department reiterated charges that China has committed “crimes against humanity and genocide” in Xinjiang. “These atrocities shock the conscience and must be met with serious consequences,” the spokesperson said.

The official was responding to a query about a BBC report earlier on Wednesday saying that women in China’s system of detention camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang were subject to rape, sexual abuse and torture.

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