Beijing: As many as 100 Uyghur residents of a small village in China's Xinjiang have been imprisoned by the Chinese authorities, said a media report citing a security guard from the area.

However, the reason for the imprisonment of these residents of Sheyih Mehelle hamlet in Ghulja county is not known, reported Radio Free Asia.

Notably, Sheyih Mehelle hamlet has a population of more than 700 people, according to the security guard.

It is not surprising that 14 per cent of a Uyghur hamlet's population is in prison, said a Uyghur living in exile, who estimated that the number of people imprisoned from the hamlet could reach 200 as per sources.

The Uyghur, who hails from Ghulja's Onyar village, said that in his family alone, three of his brothers were imprisoned by the Chinese government, adding that sources in the area told him between one to five people from each family in his old neighbourhood had been imprisoned, reported the media outlet.

Nearly 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities are said to be held in a network of detention camps in Xinjiang since 2017, allegedly to prevent religious extremism and terrorist activities.

China has been rebuked globally for the crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

The United States and parliaments in other Western nations have declared that the repression of the Uyghurs amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity, reported RFA.

The US has also sanctioned Chinese officials linked to human rights abuses in Xinjiang, including mass incarceration, invasive surveillance and forced labour. Moreover, it has also passed legislation prohibiting imports from Xinjiang that lack proof they were not made with forced labour.

Advocating the improvement in the conditions of Uyghurs suffering from human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese Community Party (CCP), US Senator Marco Rubio on Thursday introduced the Uyghur Policy Act to increase US support for the Uyghur diaspora in the US and other countries.

"The CCP is carrying out a disgusting campaign of genocide and human rights abuses committed against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. The United States cannot be silent in the face of such horrific abuse," the media outlet quoted Rubio as saying.

However, Beijing has justified the detentions saying the camps are vocational training centres and denied allegations of torturing people in the camps or mistreating other Muslims living in Xinjiang.