Mass arrests in Xinjiang continue as human rights group releases statistics

A child from Kazakhstan
pleads for the release of
her family members.
(Photo: ChinaAid)


(Almaty, Kazakhstan—Sept. 28, 2018) Kazakhstan human rights group Atajurt estimates that large percentages of Chinese-born Kazakhs residing in China’s northwestern Xinjiang have been arrested and sent to notorious “re-education camps,” where they are tortured.

Saierkejian Bilaixi, the leader of Atajurt, said on Sept. 14 that one out of 30,000 Kazakhs living in Shawan County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, 6,000 have been arrested and held in a “re-education camp,” where inmates are tortured, often on false terrorist charges that are pinned on them because of their race.

An additional 6,000 people in a different county of the prefecture have also been arrested and placed in the camps.

These arrests are occurring all over Xinjiang and are the result of the authorities’ unfounded fear that these people, who are primarily Muslim, may have terrorist connections. However, broad orders requiring the arbitrary arrests of quotas of people without listing specific names has led to people being taken into custody for actions as minor as talking about traveling to another country or asking whether or not food is halal.

The following are some of their stories:

  • Duran Duliwa, a Kazakh woman who emigrated from China, said that her husband, Mulike Hashan, was prohibited from returning to Kazakhstan after visiting his sick mother in Xinjiang in August 2018 and is now trapped inside the country. She hopes that the international community will help her husband be able to come home.
  • Kaki Hakaer, a Kazakh from Xinjiang, said that 20 year-old brother, Kali Maolai, was arrested by police in June 2018 and sent to a “re-education camp.” He has since gone incommunicado.
  • The family of Bahaxi Sainike lost contact with him in July 2017 after he returned to China from where he was living in Kazakhstan. His family has not heard news of him in more than 10 months.
  • Hasemujiang Gulinaer,, a 66 year-old woman living in Kazakhstan, said that her only son, Atilehan Xiahaer, and her nephew, Hayilati Hanati, were both arrested by officials in Xinjiang. Her daughter-in-law and two grandsons still live in Tacheng, Xinjiang, and do not have any help. She does not know whether or not they can survive.

ChinaAid condemns the Chinese government’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and exposes the abuses enacted against them in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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