Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have arrested a successful Uyghur property developer, according to a relative.
Ilyas Memet, a 48-year-old father of five, was arrested at his office in Ili Kazakh (in Chinese, Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture’s Ghulja (Yining) city in March 2018, the relative recently told RFA’s Uyghur Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“He was arrested quite some time ago,” he said, adding that it was unclear why authorities had targeted him or whether he had been tried.
March 2018 marked Memet’s second arrest, following one in May 2017 that had seen him detained for “100 days in the Gucheng Detention Center,” the relative said, referring to Changji Hui (Changji Hui) Autonomous Prefecture’s Guchung (Gucheng) county.
The relative confirmed an earlier report by an acquaintance of Memet’s last year, who told RFA at the time that “Ilyas Hajim, the owner of Subhi Property Development, Ltd., is in prison,” using an honorific to signify that Memet had made the holy Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
The acquaintance said that he had been in Ghulja on business in 2017 when authorities first arrested Memet.