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List of Uyghur Intellectuals and Well-Known Persons Imprisoned In China from late 2016 to the present

List of Uyghur Intellectuals and Well-Known Persons Imprisoned In China from late 2016 to the present

A Letter from Kashgar

translated by Torchlight Uyghur Group

November 26, 2018


We received a letter on November 26, 2018. It was written by a Kashgar resident, converted to jpeg photos, and sent to a relative of the writer living abroad via WeChat (an App similar to WhatsApp). The letter is 4 pages long, and was written by hand in Uyghur Arabic script. We removed the names of the people mentioned in the letter so that they will not be identified and punished by the local government.

In the current situation of Kashgar, 80% of the people (Uyghurs) are in the “re-education” camps and the other 15% people have been sentenced to jail. Only 5% of people are living outside voicelessly. Children from age 0 to school age are in orphanages and the better ones are normal and the worse ones have become uncommunicative. The parents of the children are in prisons or in reeducation camps. Their current conditions are little better than before. There has been not enough food for them for the last two years and they only got one piece of bread and a glass of water. Now they get rice with fried chives for one day and fried rice for another day. What their crimes are that firstly they have gone abroad and have been some sensitive countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt etcetera. And secondly, they were allegedly suspected of trying to communicate with foreign countries using software app called Kuaiya ( kuaizip) on their smartphones. They have been sentenced to prison for 5 to 25 years. They were in miserable situation with bloodless (pale) and yellow faces and they looked very weak.  People in jails and reeducation camps are greatly increasing in number day by day. There are no boys and nobody left in families, and it is not exaggeration to say almost everybody who applied for passport is in the jail now.  Many people in “re-education” camps have already lost their minds. We have no peaceful days because we are related to somebody in “re-education” camps or some of our relatives have been abroad. We can’t walk on the streets freely because of our identity and machines give out alarms when our ID card are scanned. In addition to these, all the people who made some fortune before have been disappeared now.  Not a single family has a proper income nowadays. We have been forced to work leaving our elders at home and we are working since we have no choice.

 Now, we are all bareheaded wearing T-shirts and pants and not different from the comrades (she indicates the Han Chinese people here). Any kind of books, headscarves, longer dresses, coats, and praying rugs were taken from every single home. Our customs have been forcibly changed. Our people now get married without a Nikah ceremony and can’t have proper Islamic funeral if they die. Mosques have been turned into Buddhist temples or places to teach Chinese to the Uyghurs. Some of the mosques became activity centers for the neighborhood committee. Comrades (Chinese people) have taken over the mosques and made them into tile shops or nightclubs. We have no choice but continue to live with broken heart.

 We (she means her own extended family) are not exception either. We go to study in the neighborhood committee and are learning law, policy, and Chinese language. We’re not allowed to take a break even if we have an emergency. We are getting by in such helplessness. In our family, my elder brother XXX and XXX are in the “re-education” center for one and half year now. YYY has been detained in the 2nd Guo Bao (Domestic Security Protection Bureau). She was taken in July last year (2017) for receiving a phone call from overseas. It was her husband who called, but she was taken to compare/check the voice recordings. In your family, your brother has been sentenced; your father has alsobeen sentenced and disappeared. In YYY’s family, XXX has been sentenced for 14 years but his family thinks he got 7 years instead. YYY’s family is doing OK. Uncle XXX Ahun got seriously ill just before he was to be detained and his family had taken care of him at home since last year (2017); but he passed away in August this year after struggling with his illness. YYY’s husband from our neighborhood has been sentenced for 12 years for not much reason. Blacksmith XXX was sentenced for 15 years for allegedly downloading Kuai Ya (kuaizip) software and trying to communicate with overseas.   XXX Qari was sentenced to 12 years and my older sister YYY’s husband was sentenced for 11 and half years. My sister in-law’s elder brother, XXX Haji, has been sentenced for 12 years. His son has also disappeared. His younger brother XXX has lost his mind at the “school” (i.e. “re-education” camp). His elder brother XXX and my uncle (elder brother) XXX are also at the “school”. One of XXX’s daughters has also been sentenced for 6 years. My aunt (elder sister) YYY was sentenced to 7 years and your sister-in-law YYY was also given 7 years. XXX and your younger uncle are at “school”, but your elder uncle is at home and safe. However, your son, your daughter-in-law and your daughters are not safe – I don’t know what their situations are.

There are so many people who died at the “schools” and jails because of the weakened body due to poor diet. In addition, everyone there looks to be pale, white and weak and as if something has happened to them. My friend YYY Henim was sentenced for 7 years and her husband for 11 years. As I said, there are so many people who are dead or jailed. None of us can freely talk to the investigators sent from the above. If you said something by accident, your whole family would disappear. It was the separation from their beloved ones, their husbands, wives, parents, friends, brothers and sisters that resulted in the people to have cerebral hemorrhage, to die from the heart attack, and to be permanently paralyzed. It is safe to say that there is not a single family in Xinjiang who is at peace now. This includes the counties of the Kashgar Prefecture. So many women are in jails and “schools”, and their children have been placed at orphanages. These women can’t see their children even once in a year, so that the children now can’t recognize their mothers anymore. You’re safer than all of us, but please don’t be sad and blame yourself. God Himself will protect us. But our Muslim nation is being disappeared; only some of us are staying alive. We have heard rumors about Chairman Xi being indicted by other countries and those rumors have since disappeared. It will be great if we can be safe and free again. Right now, we can’t do anything. Our national ID cards have been collected and marked, so that we need to swipe the card even when we enter our own homes. We also can’t go beyond the Ostengboyi area (in the Kashgar City). But there are no restrictions at all for the Han Chinese who recently came from the Inner China – they can go into our own neighborhoods without any problem. We can only go to Hambazar market and Tashtek Bazar and are not allowed to walk in the other streets. At every 100 meters there is a police check point, there the Chinese policemen check our phones and ID. Please don’t think about any of these and take good care of yourself and the children. We put our trust in God; God will take care of us and you.

 We hope to convey this information to the international organizations and hope that they will help us to be free from the miserable situation we are in at the moment. I know that you have more freedom than us to inform the world about us. We hoped that the UN might be able to do something when they investigated the situation, but the Chinese government faked everything and pressured people to tell the opposite of what is happening. People are helpless here, they can’t tell the truth to the media or to the UN investigators, they are fearful for their lives. My husband was sentenced for 5 years and now his jail time is almost over, hopefully he will get released next year, if God wills. 90% of my brother’s friends are gone. He himself is OK, but confined to his house. There is a word ‘fugitive’ on his ID card to prevent him from going anywhere. Even one of our relatives has that note on his ID card, and as a result, being related to him, we are also banned from traveling freely in Kashgar city without obtaining several different permissions from our neighborhood committee and the police. I am telling you the truth because I hope you can find a way to help us, a way that doesn’t harm you and us. We will talk to you soon; I am in a hurry now, take care!

A letter of appreciation for respected Sanator Marco Rubio.

by Batur Karahanli
13th October 2018, Istanbul, Turkey

Dear Honorable Senator Marco Antonio Rubio,

Your recent announcement of recommending an Uyghur economic Professor, Ilham Tohti, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 brought hope to the entire Uyghur community in diaspora. As an Uyghur intellectual, I keep a close eye on the media coverage about the sufferings of my people back home and truly appreciate some politician, academics and the human right activists have been making great efforts to help my people and publicising the crimes of the ruthless Chinese government. Hope these efforts encourage many more people to join in and support the Uyghurs.

My name is Batur Karahanli, an Uyghur from East Turkestan. I am currently living in Turkey. Like many Uyghurs living outside of our homeland, I am going through the same personal tragedy, in which I am not allowed to contact with my family members, including my aged parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister, since 26 June 2017. I have no idea whether my parents and siblings are still alive, dead or in the so called re-education camps which Chinese authorities intentionally created to control, assimilate and eventually eradicate Uyghurs as a nation.
Sometimes, I doubt that am I really living in the 21st century, where people can communicate with one another all over the world, in seconds, without any issues because of the convenience that internet brought. However, we, the Uyghurs live outside of East Turkestan, are deprived of even a basic right of hearing the voices of our loved ones. This is a very simple example of Chinese oppression against my people and this sort of torture alone caused deep stress and anxieties to myself without knowing the whereabouts of my family. I show my sympathy to the people who have been suffering from similar circumstances elsewhere, e.g. Palastine or Syria, however, those people are able to know what is happening to them and are able to make their voice heard using different communication tools. Therefore, our situation is far worse than those people live in the war zones.
While the rest of world is enjoying the freedom and democracy, the communist Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity in East Turkestan. Communist China regards us, Uyghurs, as an obstacle to expand its power to Central Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Europe through our historic homeland, East Turkestan.
The Uyghurs have every right to survive and to be treated as a human as other nations in today’s world. We have contributed to the world’s civilization from the early history with our beautiful and unique culture, such as the ”twelve Muqams” from our art and music sector; the Book of ”Qutadghubilik” (means The knowledge for Happiness); also, Uyghurs done great deal of work to connect the East to the West through the ancient Silk Road and proven to be tolerant to different people and cultures. However, we became the target of Chinese regime and China is implementing state terror towards Uyghurs, by all means, to destroy us as a people because we are different from them culturally, historically, linguistically as well as in other social values.
In such a tough and challenging situation, you have not let the Uyghur people stand alone. You are using every opportunity and shown your courage and huge concern about the ethnic cleansing that China has been doing in our homeland, and became an active voice of the voiceless Uyghurs. I appreciate that you are calling and urging to punish Chen Quannguo ( The Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang Region) and his co-workers using the global Magnitsky Act, because he is the culprit of designing those Nazi-style internment camps, which is the shame of humanity since the WWII. I read that you have also submitted your proposal regarding ”Xinjiang Uyghur Human Rights Act” to your senior officials to show your’s and your government’s support towards Uyghurs cause.
Therefore, I thank you again for all of your endeavours to save Uyghurs from Holocaust of the 21th Century. My people and I, will never forget your sincere help. May God bless you and the friends of Uyghurs who dare to speak up against the common enemy of human beings.

Faithfully yours,
Batur Karahanli

UHRP: Recent Developments in Xinjiang, with Adrian Zenz (Video)

Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Speaker: Adrian Zenz, Lecturer in social research methods, European School of Culture & Theology, Germany. Dr. Zenz is author of the recently published paper, ‘”Thoroughly Reforming Them Towards a Healthy Heart Attitude” – China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang,’ (Central Asian Survey 2018).


Meet ‘Intrusion Truth,’ the Mysterious Group Doxing Chinese Intel Hackers

Since April last year, a group calling itself ‘Intrusion Truth’ has trickled out the real names of hackers working for Chinese intelligence. Recently the group has ramped up its efforts against a Chinese operation targeting governments and businesses.


UN committee accuses China of turning Uyghur-dominated region into ‘no-rights zone’

A United Nations committee delivered a sharp rebuke to China on Friday for its treatment of Uyghurs, accusing Beijing of turning its sprawling western Xinjiang region into “a no-rights zone.”

Gay McDougall, vice-chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said she is “deeply concerned” by reports that China, under the guise of combating religious extremism, “has turned the [Xinjiang] Uyghur Autonomous Region into something that resembles a massive internment camp.”


UN Rights Panel Grills China Over Mass Detention of Uyghurs

The United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) expressed concerns over China’s mass internment of ethnic Uyghurs and restrictions on their religious freedom as it convened Friday to examine whether the country complies with its convention.

The CERD’s Geneva-based body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its member nations kicked off its review of China’s adherence to the charter’s guidelines at its 96thsession, the first time it has done so since its 75thsession in 2009.

CERD vice-chairwoman Gay McDougall said the human rights panel is “deeply concerned” by reports that China “has turned the [Xinjiang] Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) into something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy” in the name of eradicating “religious extremism” and “maintaining social stability.”


U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps

A police patrol walk in front of the Id Kah Mosque in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights panel said on Friday that it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China are held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”

Gay McDougall, a member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, cited estimates that 2 million Uighurs and Muslim minorities were forced into “political camps for indoctrination” in the western Xinjiang autonomous region.


Tens of Thousands of Xinjiang’s Kuchar County Residents Held in Political ‘Re-Education Camps’

More than 45,000 residents of a mostly Uyghur-populated county in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are being held in three main political “re-education camps,” according to a local official, who said the facilities are guarded by armed personnel.

Beginning in April 2017, Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas have been jailed or detained in political re-education camps throughout the XUAR, where members of the ethnic group have long complained of pervasive discrimination, religious repression, and cultural suppression under Chinese rule.

A staffer at the Kuchar (in Chinese, Kuche) county police department in the XUAR’s Aksu (Akesu) prefecture recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that three camps housing most of the county’s detainees are located in the Yengisher district of the county seat—about 10 kilometers (six miles) from Kuchar city center.

“I believe it is more than 45,000 … [or] slightly less than 10 percent [of the population],” the staffer said, speaking on condition of anonymity, when asked how many residents of Kuchar county are currently held in the camps.


‘No Releases’ of Thousands Held For Years in Xinjiang Township Political ‘Re-education Camps’

As many as 6,000 residents of the mostly Uyghur-populated township of Haniqatam in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have been held in political “re-education camps” for as long as two years, according to a local official.

Beginning in April 2017, Uyghurs accused of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” ideas have been jailed or detained in political re-education camps throughout the XUAR, where members of the ethnic group have long complained of pervasive discrimination, religious repression, and cultural suppression under Chinese rule.

A staffer at Haniqatam township’s No. 7 village police station, in Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) prefecture’s Kuchar (Kuche) county, recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service that no one in his township’s 26 villages had been released from the camps in the nearly two years since authorities began detaining them.

“No one has been released from the re-education camps yet,” the staffer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The earliest people sent for re-education went a year-and-a-half to two years ago.”

“Approximately 5,000 to 6,000” residents of Haniqatam are currently held in the camps, he said, adding that “the ratio of residents sent to camps from each village is more or less the same” based on the population size of the area.