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‘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.

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Marco Rubio: ‘These are crazy things… this is sick,’ senator says on China’s treatment of Uighurs

Survey: Three Million, Mostly Uyghurs, in Some Form of Political ‘Re-Education’ in Xinjiang

A security officer holding a shield and baton guards a security post leading into a center believed to be used for re-education in Korla, Nov. 2, 2017.

Up to 3 million residents of northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), especially ethnic Uyghurs, may have been detained in political “re-education camps” or forced to attend “education sessions” for “de-radicalization” as of June, rights groups said Friday.

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.

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China: Massive Numbers of Uyghurs & Other Ethnic Minorities Forced into Re-education Programs

Extrajudicial Detention & Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty in Xinjiang

Note: On August 10 & 13, 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will review China’s implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. China signed and ratified the Convention in 1981. The release below is based on a submission to the Committee from CHRD and a partner NGO, Equal Rights Initiative, highlighting major concerns over extrajudicial detention, including Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in re-education camps and China’s failure to implement Article 5 (a)(b)(d) of the Convention.

(Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders & Equal Rights Initiative – August 3, 2018) – The number of Xinjiang residents, especially ethnic Uyghurs, who are either detained in re-education camps or forced to attend day/evening “education sessions” for “de-radicalization” and indoctrination purposes in Xinjiang, may have possibly reached as high as a combined total of two to three million by June 2018, according to interviews conducted and data gathered by two NGOs, CHRD and Equal Rights Initiative.

Our findings show that, in the villages of Southern Xinjiang, about 660,000 rural residents of ethnic Uyghur background may have been taken away from their homes and detained in re-education camps, while another up to 1.3 million may have been forced to attend mandatory day or evening re-education sessions in locations in their villages or town centers, amounting to a total of about 2 million South Xinjiang villagers in these two types of “re-education” programs. The total number for Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR or Xinjiang) as a whole, including other ethnic minorities and city residents, is certainly higher.

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US urged to sanction Chinese officials overseeing sweeping crackdown in Muslim region

The Chinese official overseeing a sweeping security crackdown in China’s far west Xinjiang region should be targeted in potential sanctions, a US congressional commission has heard.

Chen Quanguo. Photo: China Gov’t.

Since hardline official Chen Quanguo was transferred from Tibet to govern China’s Muslim region in August 2016, he has overseen the construction of a network of extrajudicial internment camps. He has also stepped up surveillance of residents by using advanced technology as well as increasing police presence, and passed severe regulations to curtail religious and cultural expression.

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China: Release the Thousands of Uyghur Prisoners of Influence

Sign this petition here
 
Torchlight Uyghur Group

Contact us:

   mesheluyghur@gmail.com
   @torch_uyghur
   https://www.facebook.com/torchuyghur

This Petition Is Also Available In The Following Languages: Turkish (Turkçe)German (Deutsch),  FrenchArabic,  RussianSpanish (Español)UyghurSlawyan (Kiril), Japanese

February 3,  2018

We stated in our first 2 petitions that more than 1 million Uyghurs, or more than 10% of the Uyghur population living in East Turkestan (refer to the 2010 Chinese census) are currently being held illegally in jails, Nazi-style political “re-education” concentration camps and orphanages (http://chn.ge/2CAIJFRhttp://chn.ge/2Dw8YAU ).  The arrest of the Uyghurs in large numbers has been going on for a long time, but it intensified since July 2009, after the July 5th massacre that took place in Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan, and has reached to a record level since Chen Quan-guo took office as the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in East Turkestan.  The Uyghur detainees came from all spans of life, as exemplified in our recent report titled “Political Persecution of the Uyghurs — Brief Description of Some Individual Cases” (http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/  Among them, there is a special category of people, namely, prominent Uyghurs or Uyghurs of influence.  They represent a group of people in various areas of life and profession, who have prominent influence among the Uyghurs, or play leading roles in the Uyghur society or in their own fields of profession, such as intellectuals, writers, lecturers, poets, website owners and administrators, business owners, entrepreneurs, leading community activists, actors-actresses, religious figures, sports professionals, and even some rich people. Therefore, they can be called “the Uyghur prisoners of influence”.  They are very similar to the “prisoners of conscience” that are common to Han Chinese and the other ethnic groups in China, including the Uyghurs.  But the Uyghur prisoners of influence were jailed or detained in concentration camps for a different reason, that is, for being famous and/or influential among their own community or in their own professional fields. If we imagine the whole Uyghur population as a person, these prisoners of influence can be considered as his/her head, and the Chinese government is now slowly cutting the head off.

Here is an article published on 2 Feb. 2018 in “New York Times” related to the above issue:

What It’s Like to Live in a Surveillance State

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/opinion/china-uighurs-xinjiang.html?referer=http://m.facebook.com

Recently, several media outlets have reported on the arrests of several prominent Uyghurs and leading Uyghur intellectuals.  They include Halmurat Ghopur (a leading intellectual), Abdurehim Heyit (a famous singer and musician), Yasinjan Moydin (a businessman and restaurant owner; got ill in a jail, and recently died in a hospital), Ahmatjan Heyder (a religious figure; got released from a jail after getting seriously ill, but died shortly thereafter), Muhammed Salih (a religious leader and scholar; he did the modern translation of the Holy Quran from Arabic to Uyghur language; he was taken into a concentration camp recently, and died on Jan. 24 at 82. His two daughters and a son-in-law also got arrested), Hebibullah Tohti (returned from Egypt after getting a doctor’s degree, and sentenced to a 10-years prison term shortly thereafter), four wealthiest Uyghurs in Kashgar, and some Uyghurs who studied abroad.  The charges mentioned included “having nationalist tendencies”, “acts against the state”, “having extremist or politically incorrect views”, “being two-faced” and “undertaking unapproved, private hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)”. Some of such reports can be found at http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/  Previously, the jailing of the Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti received wide coverage in the international media.  However, the most cases in such nature still remain unnoticed and unreported, even though such action of the Chinese government is having devastating impact on the Uyghur society and on the lives of all the Uyghur people in East Turkestan and abroad.

We have obtained information on many more cases of the arrested and the detained influential and/or prominent Uyghurs from people who fled China recently, but we restrained ourselves from presenting such cases in this petition.  The reason is, the Chinese government is currently using one of their ancient tactics in oppressing the whole Uyghur population, namely, “not only cut the grass, but also destroy the roots” (????).  Based on this tactic, if the Chinese government suspects the loyalty of an Uyghur on themselves, they not only arrest and in some cases kill with some fake charges that person, but also they do the same to his/her extended family members.  So it is very common that a lot of Uyghur families have lost more than 10 extended family members to jails, concentration camps and orphanages.  Several examples of such cases are presented in the above report.

We have learned that the Chinese government has issued “arrest schedules”, “look-up tables” and printed verdicts with two blank spaces, the first for the name and the second for the jail time of the future “criminals”, to local government officials and airport administrators.  These documents are issued from the top at the provincial government level down to the heads of all villages.  According to such directives, the Uyghurs who “committed” crimes are divided into 3 categories: (1) 6 months to 3 years jail term (?? in Chinese). People belonging to this category are ordinary, innocent ones who were arrested to fill some quota came down from the top.  For example, in 2017, Urumchi police issued an order to all its branches to arrest 3000 Uyghurs and Kazakhs in this category within a week.  This was reported by the Radio-Free Asia (USA).  (2) 7 – 10 years jail term (??).  It is for people who have relatives abroad, who were found to have stored forbidden contents in their smartphones, and activists.  (3) 10 – 15 years jail term (??). It is for people who returned from abroad, who were forcibly returned from abroad, “political criminals”, and people with religious knowledge.  When “catching” an Uyghur “criminal”, a local government official first determines which category that “criminal” belongs to, fills out a pre-printed verdict mentioned above, and gives that verdict to that “criminal” right at the spot.

For example, since 2016 the CCP government in East Turkestan pressured the parents of the Uyghur students studying in different parts of the world, often using jail terms as a threat.  As a result, some unknown number of Uyghur students (the number is in the thousands in our estimate) went back to East Turkestan to save their parents from trouble.  However, many of those students were sentenced to 3 – 7 years of jail terms and were taken to jails directly from the Urumchi airport upon their return.  In many cases their parents had never seen them after returning from abroad.  They just simply disappeared in East Turkestan or somewhere else in China.

According to the accounts of a close friend who talked to us, Behtiyar, an Uyghur man in his 20s, decided to visit his parents and other relatives in Kashgar in the summer of 2016. Because restrictions and punishments are much more severe in Kashgar than in Urumchi, he decided to protect himself from all the potential troubles by having his smartphone “cleaned up” in a police “black market” in Urumchi.  The police servicemen there asked him to pay 500 Yuan (more than $80) for the service.  He paid them and thought he had made his smartphone “safe” to travel to Kashgar.  He was thoroughly checked after he got off the airplane in Kashgar, including his smartphone.  At that time, one of the police officers told him that he found prohibited contents in Behtiyar’s phone, including a photo of Turkish president Erdogan and another photo of a Turkish national flag. But Behtiyar explained to them what he did in Urumchi before starting this trip.  However, they told him that they can retrieve all the deleted contents from a smartphone.  The police called Behtiyar’s parents and told them that they need to pay the police 30,000 Yuan (about $5,000) to get their son back, otherwise their son will be jailed.  It took 3 days for Behtiyar’s parents to come up with such money. When they finally came to the airport with the money, the police told them that their son had been arrested, given a 7-year prison term and sent to a jail whose location was unknown to them.  Behtiyar was simply disappeared this way. The person who told us the above real story also told us that one prohibited content found in someone’s smart phone earns him or her a minimum 7-year jail term.  That is consistent with Bahtiyar’s 7-years prison term.

Behtiyar is not a prominent Uyghur nor a leading intellectual.  He is just an average Uyghur.  But we told the above story so that you would understand how a jail term is now easily handed out to an innocent Uyghur in East Turkestan.

There was a young Uyghur bodybuilder in southern East Turkestan.  He was well-known to the Uyghur youth with his well-developed and very good-looking body.  He is good in bodybuilding but not known in anything else.  However, the Chinese government targeted him as a suspect because of his influence among the young Uyghur people.  One day the police came up with a fake crime for him and threw him in a jail with a 5-year prison term.  In East Turkestan, jailing an influential Uyghur figure is as simple as that. That is, being prominent or being influential among the Uyghurs is a serious crime in East Turkestan, and thousands of innocent Uyghurs were jailed and detained for such “crime”.  That is part of the reasons why more than 1 million young and adult Uyghurs are currently being held either in jails or in concentration camps, and their small children are sent to orphanages.

The English-language program of the Voice of America (VOA) reported that “Recently, the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has drawn attention to increased restrictions on the ability of Uighurs in China to express and practice their religion. The State Department’s annual Human Rights Report also has highlighted repression of Uighurs’ freedoms of speech, movement, association, and assembly.” We, the Torchlight Uyghur group, thank the US government, as well as the governments of the other countries and various international organizations for their support towards the Uyghur people. In the mean time, we appeal to the United Nations, foreign governments, and other international human rights and humanitarian organizations to demand the Chinese government to unconditionally release those thousands of Uyghur prisoners of influence.

We, the Uyghurs, are powerless and helpless at the moment.  As such, we cannot defend ourselves against the Chinese government’s atrocities and cannot fight this battle for our survival alone.  We need the support of the global community.  If tens of thousands of people from around the world sign our petition, it may be possible that the United Nations will make a commitment and will act to stop the tragedy that the Uyghur people are facing today.

Please join us in our fight to end the appalling atrocities happening in East Turkestan. Please sign and share this petition. Thank you!

China Detains Uyghurs in Nazi Style Camps

Torchlight Uyghur Group
Email: mesheluyghur@gmail.com
Twitter: @torch_uyghur
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/torchlight.uyghur.3

Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo made a name for himself with his repressive style of rule as party secretary of Tibet from 2011 to 2016. Since his transfer to the Uyghur region in August this year, his tactics have become only more brutal.

Since taking the reins in Xinjiang, Quanguo has launched new polices targeting the religious freedom and cultural identity of the Uyghurs and intensified existing policies like the Communist Party’s “strike hard” campaign against Uyghur.

Chen Quanguo effectively considers all Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang as political threats and “undependable” because of their distinct religious and ethnic identities. The political re-education camps that have popped up in almost every district of Xinjiang that currently detain tens of thousands of Uyghurs are the brainchild of 62-year-old Quanguo. His strike even harder approach in Xinjiang may have helped secure his current seat on the CCP’s 19th Politburo, further cementing his influence in the regime.

In March, the Xinjiang CCP issued the ?????????????? (Regulation on Counterextremism in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). The regulation requires a massive campaign against politically “untrustworthy” and “incorrect” people plagued by “ideological illness” because of their religious and national identities. The “re-education” camp that detain people from almost every Uyghur city are part of Quanguo’s effort to cure Uyghurs of that “ideological illness” that he sees as their religious and ethnic identity so that they may be more easily assimilated and controlled.

The Chinese government often embellishes its brutal campaigns against Uyghurs with seemingly benign labels. The party has used various politically correct names for the re-education camps, including ???????? (Education and Transformation Centers), Career Development Centers, Professional Education Schools, Socialism Training Schools, and Counter-extremism Training Schools.

An official explained the frequent change in labeling, saying “obviously, the reason or changing the name is to avoid giving others a bad impression“.

CCP Propaganda about the “re-education” camps

Even when the rest of the world wasn’t sure about the existence of the re-education camps, government agencies in Xinjiang were broadcasting propaganda to convince the public of the important role of the camps in maintaining stability in the region. An audio broadcast by the CCP Propaganda Department of Xinjiang has a male Uyghur announcer explain the camps:

Going to a re-education and transformation center is a free opportunity for the ideologically infected to receive treatment and cure their disease. Young friends, how are you? I am very pleased to share my views on this topic. Following the recent strengthening of the strike hard campaign, some of the people in Xinjiang – mainly younger people – have been sent to re-education and transformation centers. But their parents, relatives, and even the majority of Uyghurs don’t know about the re-education and transformation centers and worry about it. Today, we’ll answer the questions you’ve been wondering about.

  1. The people sent to the re-education and transformation center are actually ideologically diseased people infected with ideas of religious extremism and violent terrorism – so they have to be treated.
  2. In order to cure ideologically diseased people in time and guarantee the effectiveness of the treatment, the CCP of Xinjiang decided to set up re-education and transformation camps in every prefecture, city and county all over Xinjiang. The government has organized special officials to teach the people the laws and regulations of the country and the autonomous region, the ethnic and religious policies, various beneficial party policies, and the state language – Chinese.

First, the government will clarify what is wrong and what is right, what they should do and what they should not do. The government assures the people that it will exterminate any impact of religious extremism and violent ideas. It will ensure that those who are ideologically infected will regain their ideological health and return to their homes to reunite with their family members after their minds have been cleaned from harmful ideas.

Second, an ideological illness is as dangerous as physical illness. So it must also be cured at once. We should never postpone the treatment of ideological illness. Otherwise it would deteriorate and threaten our lives. Otherwise we won’t have even enough time to regret. Some may say

“I only had a one-time experience of listening to or watching a religious preaching or violent extremism audio or video. I recognized my wrong and won’t listen to or watch it again. I have so many important things to do, so can I not go to the re-education and transformation center?”.

Some may say the stay at the re-education and transformation center is too long, can’t it be shorter? The answer to those questions are NO. An infection of religious and violent extremism is serious. If anyone escapes from treatment, he will throw himself and society in danger.

Re-education and transformation centers are special hospitals to cure ideological illnesses. The hospital is free, and food and housing is provided. The government built new re-education centers all over Xinjiang to provide the conditions to educate and change the people. The government has appointed a lot of key officials as doctors to these hospitals to treat ideological illness.

Family members of re-educated people, don’t worry. Nobody will be left hungry at the re-education centers. There is no cold, no labor, but there is rare and free opportunity for people to be trained so that they may change. The government’s guarantees to re-educate the people and after that they will live normal lives like others.

The audio is available through various government propaganda offices in Xinjiang.

Targets: The detainees at the camps

According to local officials, the superior agencies have ordered that half of the Uyghur populations in the south be detained if they exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Ideological illness
  • Politically incorrect views
  • Extremist ideas
  • Harboring extremist and politically incorrect views
  • Recent travel abroad

“Five kinds of suspicious people have been detained and sent to re-education camps – people who throw away their mobile phone’s SIM card or do not use their mobile phone after registering it; former prisoners; blacklisted people; suspicious people who have some fundamental religious sentiment; and the people who have relatives abroad,” a female police officer from far western Xinjiang told RFA.

Chinese auhtorities have formed an official grading standard using those abstract notions to determine their targets. Uyghurs are scored according to their religious background, political views, and other factors. Those who get a score under 60 are considered dangerous and are sent to the camps.

Mainly Uyghurs

The majority of those targeted are Uyghurs. Other Turkic minorities have also been targeted, but no Han Chinese have been the subject of China’s “re-education” efforts in Xinjiang. Earlier this month, local officials in Xinjiang told RFA that thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities – including Kyrgyz and Kazakhs – are being held in re-education camps without contact with their families under a policy designed to counter extremism in the region.

Sources believe there are virtually no ethnic Han Chinese held in the Xinjiang re-education camps, despite Han Chinese making up the majority of Xinjiang’s population. Those sources also indicate that the number of detainees in southern Xinjiang – where there are higher concentrations of Uyghurs – significantly exceed that of the northern part of the region.

The “politically unreliable”

“The Chinese authorities are holding people at these ‘political education’ centers not because they have committed any crimes, but because they deem them politically unreliable”.

Since April,  Uyghurs who have traveled abroad have been accused of harboring “extremist” and “politically incorrect” have been detained in re-education camps throughout Xinjiang until they admit that they committed a “wrong” by leaving the country.

“I learned through my work that among the detainees [from my district] 13 people were held for traveling abroad with a tourist company, “ said ___. “One person had gone on hajj to Mecca two years ago, and two others had studied in Turkey for a short time before returning home”.

Believers

Anyone with a religious background may be targeted, including religious teachers, imams, and youth who learn to practice their religion at home..

One official from Aksaray’s Number Two village in Hotan said that officers are to  “target people who are religious – for example younger men who sport beards”

A family of four Uyghurs –including two children – were taken to a political education facility in western Xinjiang in April for traveling abroad for business and for the Hajj, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Xinjiang authorities also imprisoned an Uyghur man after accusing him of “religious extremism” for scolding his son for drinking alcohol.

Life inside the camps

Those detained in the camps are treated like criminals and are not free to see their family members. They are interrogated by police and face imprisonment if they do not comply with the rules and regulations of the camp. And they have no legal protections.

Those who have actual physical illnesses are kept inside the camps instead of being sent to hospitals. The local authorities keep them busy with labor and aren’t concerned about the needs of the people, aside from the very basic necessities like food and sleep. Some elderly Uyghurs and children have died because they were left without the care of their loved ones who were sent to the camps.

Those at the camp are forced to learn CCP ideology. The government has set up classrooms in addition to interrogation rooms and barracks inside the camps. The instructors and other staff, like the “students” at these “re-education” camps who are essentially prisoners, live inside the camp and share the same courtyard with the detainees. The centers’ main gates are guarded 24 hours a day and instructors are required to obtain permission before leaving the facility.

Those who fail to actively learn the political ideology force fed to them at the camp face imprisonment. It’s these kinds of extreme measures that suggest the true aim of the camps are not to educate as much as it is to strip the detainees of their Uyghur identity and force them to accept a Chinese identity.

“During the re-education, they will say ‘Yes, it was a mistake to travel abroad, when the Party and government have created such a high living standard in our own country; we were ungrateful – we were ungrateful when we decided to go elsewhere.”

One official was instructed during a web conference in June that 80 percent of those arrested in re-education camps were to be “severely punished,” including those with “extreme views.”

Detentions increase

While the number of those detained cannot be adequately confirmed, almost all sources indicate mass detentions and extrajudicial imprisonment are becoming the norm in Xinjiang. RFA has reported that nearly half of the Uyghurs in Hotan have been targeted for re-education camps.

The camps in Ghulja county , Ili Kazakh prefecture and Korla City hold at least 3600 detainees each, local officials told RFA’s Uyghur Service. Those camps are run under the label of “career development centers” to mask their true nature.

According to one of the teachers in a re-education camp in Ghulja City, there are five camps in a just one of Ghulja’s countries – Turpanyuzi.

“There are 30 to 50 students in each class, so I estimate the total number of people who are undertaking the re-education program [across the county] to be at least 1,500.”

Sources in Bayin’gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture’s Korla city, where Uyghurs have previously protested house raids during China’s “strike hard” anti-terrorism campaigns, told RFA that the municipality has three re-education camps with at least 2,100 detainees. A “socialism institute” in the municipality detains more than 40 religious figures.

A Kazakh source close to the Urumqi police department said that “they have to detain 3000 Kazakhs or Uyghurs per week.”

An uncertain future in the camps

We have been unable to reach anyone who has been released from these camps. Some officials told RFA “students are not allowed to leave the camp until they have completed the full program, but the length of the training is unclear – the rules only say that the program is complete once a satisfactory level has been achieved.”

“I have been teaching for the last six months, but there is no one in my class who has completed the course and no one knows when the training will end.”

“Nobody knows how long the ‘closed education’ lasts. First of all, the detainees are interrogated by the police, and then they are sent to different education camps.”

“A few people were released after two to three months. But most detainees sent to the camps remain indefinitely.”? ?

Rights Organizations Call China to release detainees

Most  observers believe that The Chinese government’s aim is to streamline ideology in an area it perceives to be troubled by radical violence and Uyghur nationalist rights movements and perhaps even erase the western region’s connections with outside world.

Frances Eve, researcher at Chinese Human Rights Defenders, the ramped up suppression in Xinjiang will likely continue past the Party Congress’s because it appears Chen was brought to Xinjiang to replicate the heavy-handed tactics he used in Tibet.

<<Using this sledgehammer approach to counter-terrorism and ethnic-minority policy making is extremely misguided. It violates the civil and political rights of ethnic Uyghurs and does nothing to address the serious economic and social gaps between Han Chinese [the national majority] and Uyghurs,”

The lack of a response from the international community is somewhat surprising in the face of mounting evidence of the re-education camps.

“The U.N. can request the Chinese government allow its independent special experts or the High Commissioner on Human Rights to visit the region, and governments should put more pressure on China to allow journalists and other groups into the region to independently report on the situation,”

The New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to free the thousands of Xinjiang people placed in the camps since April 2017 and close them down.

“The Chinese authorities are holding people at these ‘political education’ centers not because they have committed any crimes, but because they deem them politically unreliable,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

“It is fair to say that the Chinese government has heightened the repression and discrimination against a particular ethnic group to an extent that seems quite unprecedented,” Maya Wang, Senior Researcher, Asia Division at HRW (21)

“The government has provided no credible reasons for holding these people and should free them immediately,” she added, in an appeal published by Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch said the newly unfolding Xinjiang program called to mind the compulsory ‘re-education’ of hundreds of Tibetans following their return from a religious gathering called the Kalachakra Initiation in India in December 2012 , when Chen Quanguo was Tibet’s Communist Party secretary.

The Xinjiang political education detention centers — where inmates who have not broken any laws are detained extrajudicially, indefinitely and without the knowledge of their families – run contrary to China’s constitution and violate international human rights law, Human Rights Watch noted.

Political Persecution of the Uyghurs—Brief Description of Some Individual Cases

Torchlight Uyghur Group (mesheluyghur@gmail.com)

In this report, we briefly describe some individual cases in which the relatives of an Uyghur living abroad got persecuted in East Turkestan (also known as East Turkestan Uyghur Autonomous Region in China).  The people who provided the information us the information below all live abroad.  However, we did not identify them by their real names and in some cases by the names of the countries they are currently residing in.  The reason is, if we identify them, the Chinese government will persecute their relatives still living in East Turkestan. It is a common practice in China, and as far as we know many Uyghurs have got persecutated that way.  We have recently learned from some sources back home that the number of the Uyghurs currently being held in jails and in “political re-education concentration camps” (http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/ ) is 800,000 – 1,000,000.  This is an official number we obtained, and actual number could be much higher than one million.  Some people who came out of East Turkestan to abroad recently are saying that the number of the Uyghur people who were jailed, detained in Nazi sytel concentration camps and their young childred being kept in orphanages is more than 5 million.

The following cases are described only in the order of the information that we received.

Case #1: Reyhan’gul, an female living in Europe

My second older sister was sentenced to 17 years (of prison terms), her husband was sentenced to 8 years.  They had 3 sons and one daughter.  Their youngest child was a boy, and was taken to an orphan care center.  The other two sons and the daughter were also taken away by the police, and I don’t know for how many years they were sentenced to.  My oldest sister’s son and her husband were also sentenced to jail terms, but we don’t know for how many years.  My third sister was also arrested, and we don’t know anything else about her.  Her husband was sentenced to 8 years.  My third sister’s 15-year old son was also arrested, but I don’t know for how many years he was sentenced to.

That is, in my extended family, 10 people were sentenced to various jail times, and one child was taken to an orphan care facility.

Case #2: Jana’s the second oldest sister  (audio clip  1:13)

My sister has never had a passport, never been here, and never been to any foreign country. We loved each other so much so that we could not live without seeing each other. We used to live in a city in Northern East Turkestan (East Turkestan).  I communicate with her over the telephone. She was detained for chatting with me over the phone. Recenlty when I called her, she said “please do not call me again, they have put me in hospital, and I have just returned home.” I asked why, and she said “your fault made me ill.”  Now I understand that because of my fault of coming to Turkey she was jailed.

Case #3: Kawsar  (audio clip  10:51)

Recently we saw a sad news in the Istiklal newspaper. According to that paper, a boy named Kawser was sentenced to 16 years of jail term. My son is so sad and cried very hard when he heard the news.  That boy separated himself from the Uyghur community and didn’t participate in any community or political activities.  He was afraid to visit our home and he was always very careful.  At that time, he was in a college in Karaman Marash city.  I asked him many times to visit my home in the current for home-made Uyghur foods, but he told me that “my parents are back in our homeland, I’m afraid that would endanger their safety”. I told him our home is far away from the rest of the Uyghur community, and is surrounded by Turkish neighbors and nobody would recognize him if he visited our home. He still declined my invitation and told me it is better for him not to come, so that he would not face trouble from the Chinese authorities when he returns back to our homeland in the future. Since then, very likely due to his extreme cautiousness, he did not even pick up my phone calls. In order to make a living he worked as a translator in a Chinese owned electric company in Kariman Marash.  He didn’t participate in any Uyghur community activities.  But when he went to our homeland in China to visit his family, he was still arrested and sentenced to a lengthy jail time.

Case #4: A Dentist’s Story

When I was working as a shopkeeper I had a dentist neighbor.  He and 10 or so friends got together and ate dinner. It was a regular Uyghur gathering with funny jokes , and they were having good time,  no sensitive topics were discussed. After they went home, some of the dinner participants were arrested by the police.  That gathering was organized by a person called Ablet,  and he was arrested on a  charge of organizing that event. He was sentenced and currenly serving in a prison in Karamay City.

Ablet learned Quran from us. After his arrest, his mother came to my home. She said to me: “What is going on,  what is wrong with  people just get together,  what happened to the government,  how can they charge and  arrest someone for  eating dinner together as a group?”   I told her “this is a station we  cannot do anything about it”.  My dentist neighbor also said to me: “Sister, all of the people we had dinner together  on that day were arrested. Do you think they will arrest me as well?”

Shortly after that, my dentist neighbor was also arrested. He has two young children, one of them is still an infant.  Local government officials  warned neighbors not to give any food or material support to their present family.  If they did they could also be arrested.  Government officials also warned his wife by saying: “Do not get any donation from anyone, including your parents and relatives.  Whoever gives you any material support you need to report that to us.  If you don’t, we will increase the degree of your husband’s punishment to a more severe term.  If you need any help, you need to directly contact us”.  She got into a very tough situation.  We supported her in secret.  One of her children got sick, but she didn’t have enough financial resources to take her child to a doctor. We gave her 50 Yuan. Several other people also gave her some money.  Also, even though a government official told her that they would help, but that never happened.  The government oppression went up to an unprecedented level.  After I came back to Turkey, I talked to the lady to whom I transferred my business assets. I asked my dentist neighbor’s situation, and she told me his situation has not changed that much, and  she did not tell me anything else. The dentist is over 20 years old. When I visited our hometown in East Turkestan (East Turkestan), he was not sentenced to a jail term yet. Now, according to the news, he is sentenced to 8 years of prison term, and he has serious medical condition that needs to be cured.  The dentist’s wife is about 23 years old.  After her husband’s arrest, I always saw her sad and crying.

Case #5: Audio Clip 4:17

On March 14,  2017, they took my father away.  In order to learn his whereabouts, my family went to a police office and asked them if they know the whereabouts of my father. They asked my grandfather to give his ID card number  to the police.  They checked his number and found that no person was assigned that ID number in East Turkestan. Two weeks after arresting my father, they also arrested my grandfather. My grandfather stayed in a detaining center for two months. During that time, his  health deteriorated  and the police dropped  him off at a hospital.  Shortly after, they arrested  my grandmother. When the police saw she became very week, she was also dropped off in a hospital. My grandparents are currently in their 60s.  Then they arrested my uncle.  After he was detained for about three months,  he was sent to an ER also.

All of my arrested family members were in good health when they were arrested. But their health deteriorated during their detention and they were dropped off  in a hospital. My uncle was dropped off in ER during a night time without informing our family. He got slightly better next morning and contacted our family. When our family member went to get him, he was taken away by the police who were guarding him. On the same night, he was dropped off in ER again with a failing health.

This is what I know about my family.  I heard my mother became mentally disordered. I got this information about 3 month ago, in October of 2017. I heard this happened some time ago, but my brother kept it secret from me for a while before telling me. So far, we got no news regarding my father’s whereabouts. My father’s name is Hushur. My grandfather’s name is Ilham, my grandmother’s name is Aynur. The uncle’s name is Adil.  I am Guljamal, and I am about 18 years old.

Case #6: Aynur Yasin, Southern East Turkestan (Audio Clip 1:51)

His father was a shopkeeper in a market,  and her mother was a teacher. In about  March 2017,  there  was a big event, an explosion, in Southern East Turkestan,  according to a news reported by Instiklal TV. After that event, the Chinese authorities brought about 5 thousand military troops from inner China and carried out mass arrests. During that time, her father was arrested, after that he vanished to this day without a trace . She did video chats with her father through WeChat before, and she kept those chat records in WeChat archives. I have seen those videos before.  Recently, she opened those files and discovered those video records were edited. Parts of the video showing her father was deleted, and other non-relevant parts  stayed intact. The original video was 4 minutes long, but now it was shortened to 2 minutes.  No news regarding her father so far. She could not contact with her uncles and aunts. Her brother used to work for the police, but he also disappeared in April.  This girl is currently living in Turkey without any financial support.

Case #7: Yunusjan (Audio Clip 5:31)

My name is Yunusjan Emmet.  I am from an outskirt district of Karamay city.  My parents were divorced when I was very young.  Currently, I am abroad and have lost contact with them for quite a while, and I don’t know their whereabouts.  I believe that they might be in jail or locked up in one of the “political education” camps proliferated in recent months in my homeland.  I heard that Yasin Abdusalam’s brothers are also vanished without trace.  He is someone I knew from my neighborhood.  I can still remember that his older brother’s name is Abdulehet, but I cannot recall his other brother’s name.  But I know that the brothers are from a religiously conservative family.  I heard later from my wife that the brothers were also detained and I believe that they could be labeled as “separatist” or “religious extremist”.  I don’t know anything else about them. Due to severe psychological trauma, and emotionally stress and anxiety, my memory is deteriorating.  I could not recollect anything else about them.

In February 2010, I was detained at Urumqi airport terminal. My mother was also picked up simply because she came to say goodbye at the airport.  Even though I was holding a legally issued passport and visa, they arrested and sentenced both of us for two and half years on an accusation that I was going abroad to join “Jihadist movement”.

Any parents in their right minds would accompany their loved ones to the airport to say goodbye. I was leaving her to go abroad for education, and she was detained just because of saying farewell to her child at airport.

They accused my mother of instrumental and financially supportive of my going abroad to engage in “illegal activities against Chinese state”.  I believe that she is now again in incarceration due to the same charges.   I won’t forget the days that my family was harassed regularly and they forced us to attend “patriotic study meetings” on a weekly basis.  My mother has heart problems and is suffering from poor health.  She was emotionally tormented by the harassments and humiliations.  Since I left abroad, police visits and interrogates her regularly about me and my activities abroad.  I am deeply aware of the tremendous sufferings and traumas my mother and sister are going through for my sake.    I sometime try to comfort myself that what happed to my loved ones are way less horrific than what happed to other Uyghur families and their loved ones back in my homeland.  Many of them died in Chinese prisons or simply vanished without official account.

Case #8: Asiye Hushur’s account of her sister’s disappearance (Audio Clip 6:18)

Both my sister and my son were vanished, and I believe they are in jail or in “special education “camps now.  Or, my son might be kidnapped by Chinese human traffickers to inland China.  I heard many horrific stories about Uyghur kids in our region are disappearing.  I am originally from Southern East Turkestan and currently residing in Turkey with my daughter.  My sister and her 11th-grader son visited us in Turkey about a year ago.   Police took my sister from her home the second day after they went back to their home from Turkey.  Her son was expelled from school because of his trip to Turkey.  I lost contact with her and she is incommunicado.   I called my parents and they pleaded me not to call them.  I did not call any of our other relatives or friends back home because I don’t want to create trouble for them. I heard that police will harass those who receive calls from abroad.   Relatives of those detained or missing dare not ask police whereabouts of their loved ones.  My sister and my son are gone for almost 10 months now, and I am devastated and helpless.  I dare not go back to my country because I know they would definitely put us in jail, too.  Several years ago, they arrested my elder brother, too, and he perished in prison.

Case #9: An Incident Resulted from Birth Control (Audio Clip 7:07)

In the end of February, 2013, there was a man named as Mirshat in a village of Ghulja. He was above 60 years of age, and he was a Chinese spy. In spite of that, his sons were pious and they were men of good morality.

One of his sons, named as Shirdil, was about 45 years old. Shirdil had three sons. Shirdil’s wife got pregnant, and she wanted to have a daughter when all of her children were boys. Although we were living in the same neighbourhood, we were unaware of her pregnancy.  The woman kept her pregnancy very secret, and she moved to a different place when her stomatch became bigger. This was noticed by one of the villagers. I was not sure if Shirdil’s father reported this after discovering his daughter-in-laws’ secret or someone else did so. The woman was not at home when the family planning officers came to visit her. Her husband was detained, but the woman said she was due shortly and she would return home after she delivered the baby. She genuinely believed they would not kill the baby once she was born.

The police called for Mirshat and said: “You are a government employee. No matter how, you must find your daughter-in-law. Otherwise, we will suspend your work and you will stop receiving salaries.” Returning home, this man pressured his son to find his daughter-in-law and requested him to get her home. Despite of any consequences, the man eventually found his wife who was hiding at a relative’s home. The police took her to the hospital by force, caused her to have an abortion even though the baby was due in just a few days. The woman was given an injection to kill the baby before she was to be aborted. The woman was carrying the baby for nine months. The baby was a well-developed boy. After all of this, the woman became seriously ill.

Mirshat, who was a healthy man, also died secretly in less than a month after he handed over his daughter-in-law and killed his own grandchild. It was a spring time when Shirdil’s wife told me all about this.

Case #10: Muhtar’s Family Situation (Audio Clip 9:46)

There were two imams for the mosque in my neighbourhood. One was my husband, Ilshat Hajim, and another was Yunusjan. One day, Yunusjan said: “My son has now grown up. I am worried that he would get involved with something terrible here and cause trouble. Therefore, I would like him to join you to study abroad”. We then came to Istanbul with Yunusjan’s son, Mirshat, who stayed with us in our house for more than a year. Mirshat went to study the Quran on the other side of Istanbul. Later, his older brother also came to Istanbul. Mirshat then moved out to stay together with his older brother. Later, he was sent back home to East Turkestan. Before he returned home, his parents had already spent 100,000 RMB to have him de-listed from a terrorist list. On his way back home, Mirshat posted a short video of him online when he was on the plane. Seeing this, my son told my wife that Mirshat was going home. I then telephoned his older brother and I was told that Mirshat got home safely. We were not worried about him when we saw he posted his more pictures on the internet after meeting his parents in East Turkestan.

Towards the end of February, 2017, the police suddenly came to Yunusjan’s house and Mirshat was taken away.  So far, there has been no news about this boy. Mirshat’s older brother, Ilshatjan, had to contact with his parents via another person because he himself cannot contact them directly.  In April 2017, his father, Yunusjan, was also detained by the police, but was released in June.  Just two days after his release, he was again taken away by the police.  Since then there has been no news about him.

We tried very hard to find out information about Mirshat but in vain. We went to many places, but anywhere we go, we are simply told that ‘Mirshat is not here’.

Mirshat’s house has now become a place being frequently visited by the police.

Mirshat is 18 years old. His name on his passport appears as Abdulehet. People in his neighbourhood just call him as Mirshat.

Case #11: Polat’s father’s situation (Audio Clip 1:32)

I had a friend named as Polat. Because his younger brother had been taken to the re-education center in China, he heard from his father that his younger brother’s heart had stopped on 9 January 2018. According to him, his younger brother used to be healthy. His father is over 80. According to the information from China, most of the people who are taken to the re-education centres are dying there.

  1. Nuriman. In Egypt, there was one boy and two girls responsible for the Quran literacy of new female students at the Quran course. In 2015, after going for a Haj from Egypt, Nuriman returned to East Turkestan with her husband and their children. In 2016, she sent her oldest daughter to Turkey, and her son to Egypt, to study. In 2017, five people in her family were arrested. Her oldest daughter was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment, her husband and their son to 5 years each, and she herself to 5 years. The woman settled down in Urumqi although she was originally from Ghulja.
  2. Guljamal. Originally from Turfan, Guljamal was a student at a senior middle school in Izhar, Egypt. In 2016, she was admitted to Izhar University. Before starting her degree at the university, she returned to Turfan to visit her parents. Being unable to return to Egypt, she was married locally. One week after her wedding, she was arrested and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for studying in Egypt.
  3. Zeytun. Originally from Kashgar, Zeytun was a student at Izhar University. She taught Arabic grammar in a religious course for Uyghur female students. In 2016, she returned to Kashgar to get married. She planned to return to Egypt after her wedding. But she was arrested in 2017 and was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment later on.
  4. Guljamal. Originally from Ghulja but Guljamal was settled down in Urumqi. In 2015, she returned home from Egypt. While in Egypt, she worked as a teacher to Uyghur children to teach Uyghur literacy. In 2016, Chinese authorities broke into her house and took her back to China from Egypt. There has been no news about her since she arrived at Urumqi International Airport.
  5. Abduwali. Originally from Hotan, Abduwali came to Egypt from China in 2016. His parents were sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment each for sending Abduwali and his older brother together with his children to Egypt.
  6. Mediniyet. Originally from Ghulja, Mediniyet was admitted to the preparatory school for a junior middle school in Izhar. In September 2015, Mediniyet returned to East Turkestan but was unable to return to Egypt. In 2017, Mediniyet was arrested by the Chinese authorities.
  7. Ghuppur. Originally from Ghulja, Ghuppur was a student at a senior middle school in Izhar. He returned to Ghulja, East Turkestan, in 2016. He was in an extremely difficult situation when he was in Ghulja, so he returned to Egypt in less than a month. Being forced by the Chinese authorities, he returned to China in 2017. He went missing as soon as he arrived at Urumqi International Airport. After a certain period of time, it appeared that he was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment.
  8. Shokret. Originally from Ghulja, Shekret made a visit to East Turkestan in 2015 when he was a junior student of a middle school in Izhar. Following the strong request for him to return to East Turkestan from his parents who were pressured by the authorities in 2017, Shokret finally returned to East Turkestan but he disappeared after arriving at Urumqi International Airport upon returning from Egypt. After a certain period of time, it became known that Shokret had been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.

Case #12: Asiye Haji’s Family Story (Audio Clip 12:48)

When we were back home, we know that the son of Mihrigul, who is the sister of Ilshat Haji, were preparing for college at home. They made their living by selling milk. Mihrigul raised kettles for living after she retired and her son did the delivery using his motorcycle. One day after a delivery, he stopped at an internet caffee to search for college information. After he came out from there, all of a sudden a number of policemen appeared in front of him and asked where he got his motorcycle, which really baffled him. He said to them that he had owned it for a while and he has proper documents to prove it. However, the police started to physically attacking him disregarding his explanation by calling him “stupid”. He punched back a couple of policemen in self defense, for which he was arrested and was forced to sit on an electric chair for a whole night. The police interrogated him the whole night by beating him using batons and asking him where he got his motorcycle. And it happenned in a police station in Urumchi.

Since he did not return home at expected time, his siblings started to look for him by tracing his delivery routes by car and motorcycle that they owned. They searched for him for a whole night but he was nowhere to be found. On the way back home around 4am in the morning, they heard some shouting voice very similar to thier brother’s voice when they were passing by the police station. So they approached the police station and knocked its door.

– What do you want? Asked the police

– I heard a voice similar to my brother whom I am looking for whole night.

– What is his name?

– Ilshat.

– Oh, Ilshat is your brother?

– Yes.

– He is inside. He attacked the police so we detained him.

– What was his crime?

– The motorcycle he is riding is a stolen motorcycle.

– We bought it from a shop and we have papers that I can bring from home to show you.

They went home to get the papers and showed it to the police. Then two policeman brought Ilshat out by carrying him wihout saying anything. He was severly beaten and lost conscienceness.

His brothers started to ask questions from police why he was beaten so serverly since he did not commit any crime. However, instead of explaning the case, the police started to threaten them with arrest. So they returned home with Ilshat who was severly injured by the police buttons and electric stun gun. It took a long time for him to recover from those woonds. But it did not stop there. Since from that incident, Ilshat was detained multiple times and accused with so called political crimes as thousands of Uyghurs face on daily basis. There is no trial or conviction whatsoever but people get arrested whenever police wanted.

What happended to my son is pretty much similar in nature. He was at home when one of his friend called him out. As soon as he stepped outside, he was abducted by police just for the fact that he was wearing a blue jacket that a robber was supposedly wearing during an earlier robbery. So several police officers were running around arresting anyone who happens to be wearing blue jacket in town. His brother saw the whole thing and ran to the house to let us know what had happened. So we immediately followed the police to a police station.  Once we got there, we asked the police for an explanation. They made us wait for about an hour and finaly told us that they made a mistake. We know from prior experience that it is no use to puruse justice there and we know that my son’s fate will be no different than Ilshat we mentioned ealier. So we decided to leave our homeland and go to another country by selling all we had, including our car. With the help of our relatives, he was able to get his passport and come to Egypt. When our eldest son’s passport was ready, he and his future wife could not come with us,  so we left them behind.

What I have shared here is just something that happend to me or people around me. I am willing to share these hoping that at least we can let the world know about terrible injustices that Chinese government is forcing upon the Uyghurs back home.

Case #13:  Janan’s Husband Emet (Audio clips 3:29 and 14:38)

My husband Emet worked as a Muazzin (caller for prayer) in a Mosque for 15 years when we were in our homeland. He came to a foreign country without quitting his role (it would not be possible to come out safely if he did not keep this secret).

A girl named Gulshen who was learning Quran from Emet has been jailed because of teaching how to pronounce the two letters – Alif (?) and  Baa ((? to another woman. When that woman was interrogated to confess who taught these, she told Gulshen did it. The girl Gulshen was 16 at the time, and she was taken from her home at midnight because of teaching the two letters.

When a policemen knocked her door at midnight, before openning the door she asked her dad.

  • These must be policemen who came to arrest me, what should I say if they ask who taught me Quran? If I say Emet taught me, then they would torture him a lot. (We all and even our children heard many times that Chinese police torture people brutally). I would not tell about him (Emet), how if they torture me too painfully?

Before getting an answer and open the door, policemen banged on the door so hard that it nearly shattered.

Later her dad informed us that Gulshen was detained and Emet should move to somewhere elso or he will be jailed and would also cause many of his students to be arrested.  There was a rich young Uyghur man in our town and he used to be in good relationship with policemen. He also said, please help get Emet moved somewhere elso immediately. At the time, we were under close watch by police, they used to come to our home everyday, asking qustions such as “who taught Quran’, “where did you learn” and so on. We answered all their questions, the next day policemen from city police bureau came for the similar questions in various ways. Policemen from our twon brach office and local village also came to us with similar questions and threats every day. Our home was under police watch from 2013 until the end of 2014. Emet gave the same answer to them every time. A police from city police bureau named Yaqup (please change his name as he is Uyghur and an assistant police) told the rich young Uyghur man that Emet has to take shelter, has to move to somewhere else.

Before everything came to the surface, a young man helped us to get visa and we went to Malaysia with Emet and our daughter. We had to leave our son there as he was restricted from going abroad for 5 years. Then we came to the current country via Malaysia in 2015. After we left, Chinese police troubled my son a lot asking about our whereabouts. As we advised before we left, my son said to police that “my brother is sick and my parents have gone to his country to take care of him, help him get over the illness. They will either bring him back or care for him in a hospital there until he recovers.”  My son kept asking us when we will go back over the phone, and we kept saying ‘he is getting better and we will be back soon’.

My elder sister’s daughter Minawar used to work in disability support sector in a town. She was the guarantor to my husband Emet to get passport. Therefore the police arrested her and threatened her, demanding her to bring my husband back home. At the time we were in the current country, she told us on WeChat ( a phone app we used contact with her before) many times that we must return to home. She said ‘I am now going to your country with police.  Poliemen are with me now and I can bring you back wherever you live in your current country. You will see how I will bring you back. You have destroyed my family, caused me to be jailed and lose my job. My salary stopped, what do I eat and dring now?’  We shut down our phone but she kept sending messages.

Meanwhile Emet’s elder sister, Mehirgul, was the guarantor for me and my children to get our passports. She was also in the same trouble.  She was retired, and her retirement salary was stopped. Policemen detained her and told her that you were the guarantor for Emet’s wife and children. Emet has gone to overseas without resigning from his role as a Muazzin (caller for prayer). You must bring him and his wife back’. Her son-in-law said “ Why do not you come like a man? You caused us trouble and destroyed two families” in a very insulting tone. We remained silent as we understand that they were troubled. We told them that we are very sorry and we will go back soon.

After the threatening messages from my elder sister’s daughter Minawar that she will come to our current country with police to arrest us. We left the city we are staying and moved to another city. Her threatening words made us feel that they will really come. We told our close friends in the former city that if someone asks about us please say ‘I do not know them’. Later we got to know that they issued arrest order for my husband Emet, we did not receive the actual copy of the arrest order, but learned it through Eli, a builder from our hometown who visited our home in our former city.  He came with his wife Hornisa. His daughter Nurnisa was a student in our current country. She was sick at the time, her father came to take her daughter back home. When they returned to China all of them were put in jails just because they went to a foreign country in the “Restricted 26 country list” of Chinese government.

During his visit at my home in our former city, he said ‘You should never return to your home, they have made an official arrest order. Emet’s older brother sent his words through him, my brothet should never come back. But if Emet comes back, they will torture him brutally. They looked for Emet a lot as if they searching for a hundred people’.

When we were in our hometown, a rich young man built a two-storey mosque there. It was two-story with basement. The basement was made to meet congregation prayers needs, especially during Eid and Ramadan there were no enough space for people come to pray in ground level. The local government sent some people fill the basement with soil. They also broke down the mosque tower from its top saying it was made 40 cm taller than their regulation. The tower was 17 meter tall. When we visited our village, we saw the towers of all themusques there had also been broken from their top. Emet got involved in these incidents asking them to stop. When one Chinese man came in to a mosque without removing his shoes, Emet told him not to enter the mosque with shoes as the carpets were newly placed and need to stay clean. But the Chinese man got upset and said ‘ who are you to dare to say remove my shoes? What can you do if I do not remove my shoes’. After the incident the Chinese man slandered Emet and blamed him of ethnic separatist. Then a group of armed police came to arrest Emet. The young man who built the mosque was so good in Chinese language. He spoke to police and explained the real situation, indicating Emet was speaking nicely to the Chinese man and Emet is in good relationships with other Chinese neighbours. He also said that was a misunderstanding and there was nothing like ethnic separatist. At the time, situation was not as bad as now and he was saved from being arrested. But they made him a target after the incident.

These are the reasons we stayed in the current country. They (police) told my son that you will be freed from prison when your parents come back. When they arrested my son we did not know that we could actually apply for refugee under the United Nation (UN). Later our friends in our former city said “ Because they issued an arresting order on you, why do not you apply for a status to the UN?  Recently this country and China are getting good relationships, so it’s better to go to another country”. Therefore we applied for a refugee status, but we are still living in fear. There is an agreement between this country and China that this country will transfer criminals to China.  That’s why we are living in fear. We have not returned to our former city since long long time ago. This country has embraced us and we are living here according to this country’s law. Whichever country we will go, we will obey the law of the country while keeping our faith. If we go anyone’s home, we have to respect them. I always remind my children about this point. We have never involved with any illegal activity in this country.

Mongolian dissident’s son arrested and detained for “obstructing official business”

SMHRIC
October 16, 2015
New York

On October 15, 2015, Mr. Uiles, son of the Mongolian dissident Mr. Hada, who had been imprisoned for 19 years, was taken away by police in western Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s Bogot City (“Bao Tou Shi” in Chinese) after being beaten bloody. Later on the same day, Uiles was placed under a 10-day detention on a charge of “obstructing official business.”

Ms. Xinna, mother of Uiles, told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) that on the morning of October 15, 2015, she, Uiles, and her mother Ms. Hanshuulan, were talking together as they took a walk near Hanshuulan’s residence. A State Security agent followed them closely and listened to their conversation.

“I asked him to stop following us. Not only did he refuse to distance himself, but he approached even closer and started cursing at us,” Xinna told SMHRIC via a voice message. “My son Uiles also asked him not to follow us. He started punching and kicking Uiles.”

Xinna described the scene: “Uiles resisted the physical assault and defended himself. Physically fit and professionally trained, the agent beat my son until he was bleeding from his hands and elbows.”

Xinna said she was also beaten by the State Security agent as she tried to protect her son from the assault and attempted to pick up his sunglasses, which were smashed on the ground during the altercation.

“Shortly later, a police vehicle from the Bogot City Qing Shan District Public Security Bureau arrived on the scene and forcibly took my son away,” Xinna told SMHRIC.

Both the “Notice to Family of the Summoned” and “Notice to Family of the Detainee,” issued by the Qing Shan District Public Security Bureau, state that the Bureau summoned and detained Uiles for “obstructing official business” in accordance with Article 50 of “The People’s Republic of China Public Security Administration Punishment Act.”

The detention period is 10 days starting October 15, 2015. Currently Uiles is held at the Bogot City No.1 Administrative Detention Center, according to the “Notice to Family of the Detainee” issued to Xinna.

“This is nothing but a continuation of the persistent harassment and persecution against my family that started almost 20 years ago, when my husband, Hada, was arrested and imprisoned for defending the rights of the Southern Mongolians,” Xinna said, expressing her strong criticism of the Chinese authorities’ heavy-handed policy in the region.

In Hohhot, capital of Southern Mongolia, Hada also protested against the authorities’ brutal treatment and arbitrary detention of Uiles.

“Today I went to the Autonomous Region Party Committee and the Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau, and demanded the immediate release of my son,” Hada told SMHRIC in a written statement.

“The police beat up and injured my son before placing him under detention. My wife was also beaten. I urge the authorities to release my son immediately and unconditionally; I urge them to bring those police who were engaged in these criminal acts to justice,” Hada said in another written statement and identified himself as “Uiles’ father, who had been imprisoned unjustly for 19 years.”

In 1995, Hada was arrested and later sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of “splitting the country and engaging in espionage.” On December 10, 2010, he completed his full prison term. Yet, not only did the Chinese authorities refuse to free him, they placed him under another 4 years of extrajudicial detention in a “black jail” in suburban Hohhot.

His wife, Xinna, was arrested on December 4, 2010, on a trumped-up charge of “involvement in illegal business,” referring to her Mongolian Studies Bookstore. In April 2012, she was sentenced to 3 years in jail with 5 years reprieve on the same charge.

On December 5, 2010, Uiles was arrested for “illegal drug possession.” After nearly a year of detention, he was discharged but was placed under “residential surveillance,” a form of house arrest.

In 2002, the then 17-year-old Uiles was arrested and sentenced to 2 years in prison for another trumped-up case of “involvement in robbery.”