China is forcibly sterilising women held in its vast network of "re-education" camps which house political and religious prisoners, survivors have claimed.

One woman, who was held for more than a year, has told French television that she was repeatedly injected with a substance by doctors in a prison in the far-west region of Xinjiang.

"We had to stick our arms out through a small opening in the door," Gulbahar Jalilova, a 54-year-old former detainee, told France 24.

"We soon realised that after our injections that we didn't get our periods any more."

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She and up to 50 other women were crammed into a tiny cell "like we were just (a) piece of meat", she said.

Speaking to an Amnesty International conference recently, another woman, Mehrigul Tursun, 30, told a similar story of being unknowingly sterilised, reports news.com.au.

Uyghur women grieve for their men who were taken away by Chinese authorities in a crackdown on the Muslim minority group. Photo / News Corp
Uyghur women grieve for their men who were taken away by Chinese authorities in a crackdown on the Muslim minority group. Photo / News Corp

She felt "tired for about a week, lost my memories and felt depressed" after being administered a cocktail of drugs while imprisoned in 2017, she said.

After several months she was released, having been diagnosed as mentally ill, and now lived in the United States. Doctors there later told her that she had been sterilised.

Both women are Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority group that has been specifically targeted by Chinese authorities for "re-education".

An estimated one million Uyghurs are held in prison camps across the country. Members of the Falun Gong religious movement have also been detained in large numbers.

A Falun Gong protestor in Australia in 2005. Members of the group have also been imprisoned in large numbers. Photo / Getty
A Falun Gong protestor in Australia in 2005. Members of the group have also been imprisoned in large numbers. Photo / Getty

In the past, Uyghur women who were detained in camps and now live in western nations have told of being forced to abort babies — including late in the term of pregnancies.

The Population Research Institute, which advocates for a born on intrusive and inhumane population control programs, accused China of forced sterilisation on a large scale.

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"The current Uyghur population is less than 1 per cent of China's total population," the group said. "To restrict and control the natural growth of a population of this size in any country is to totally annihilate and genocide them.

"Therefore, the Chinese birth control policy of forced abortion and sterilisation of Uyghurs is not a policy of ensuring the overall quality of Uyghur population.

"On the contrary, it is to gradually exterminate them by imposing all the political, economic, and social means and restrictions."

China said those arrested — who have faced no charges or convictions — pose a risk of future extremism.

But the country's large-scale program has attracted international condemnation, accusations of brutality and torture, and a staggering finding from a recent international tribunal of a sinister organ harvesting black market.

Prisoners and their family members at a women's prison in Changchun, China. Photo / Getty
Prisoners and their family members at a women's prison in Changchun, China. Photo / Getty

For several years, human rights groups have expressed concern that many of the estimated 1.5 million political and religious prisoners held in camps were part of an insidious human farming system.

In June, the specially formed China Tribunal in London declared there was no doubt that state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting was occurring on a massive scale.

Made up of members from the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Iran, including experts in human rights, transplant surgery and international relations, the independent tribunal heard from 50 witnesses and examined an enormous volume of visual and text evidence over the past year.

The number of operations performed, the incredibly short waiting lists for recipients and the expansion of facilities demonstrated "beyond a reasonable doubt" that "forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale", the report said.

China has consistently denied it is involved in human rights abuses.