(ChinaAid, Midland, TX) Radio Free Asia recently reported on threats made upon Serikizhan Bilash, human rights defender, and his family. ChinaAid translated the article from Chinese. Read the article below:
Xinjiang Arrests Another Ethnic Minority, Kazakh Human Rights Leader Receives Death Threats
Kazakhstan’s human rights leader Serikzhan recently received a text message from Duken Masimkhanuli, president of a pro-Chinese organization in Kazakhstan, threatening to kill Serikzhan and his three children. According to another source from Xinjiang, government officials in Yili and other places have recently forced Muslims from ethnic minorities to receive education at night, while Yining County and other places have been arresting Muslims.
Serikzhan Bilash, the founder of Kazakh human rights group Atajurt, currently resides in New York. He told Radio Free Asia that Duken Masimkhanuli, the president of the Institute of
Chinese Students in Kazakhstan, used Facebook Messenger
to text him directly about killing him and his three children:
He sent me a message at 8:17 a.m. on December 1 threatening me with the death of my three children,
aged six, four, and one. He is the Chairman of the Overseas Chinese Organization in Kazakhstan. His real face is to speak for the Chinese government.
Serikzhan said he recorded the threats from Duken to use as possible evidence in the future. As the station previously reported,
Duken, who hails from Yili, Xinjiang Province, was a member of the Chinese Xinjiang Writers Association before settling in Kazakhstan, where he served as director of the Institute of Chinese Studies. He also served as the head of the Chinese language department at Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan.
Serikzhan’s family is in exile in Turkey because they are unable to obtain a U.S. visa
In addition, the Almaty Alatau District Court recently held a hearing to consider information from the Alatau Probation Department about Serikzhan ‘s performance during his probationary period.
Serikzhan said he faces being wanted by the Kazakh court: “The Almaty Police Department submitted an 11-page document to the
court this week stating that I, Serikzhan, had illegally disappeared (fled). They investigated several locations where I used to live and found that [I] had failed to report to the Almaty Police Department, which is already illegal.”
After a local court sentenced Serikzhan to probation on August 16, 2019, they required him to report to the Public Security Bureau at an appointed time. The police department asked the court to issue a wanted notice, according to Serikzhan. “I was asked to be wanted by the Almaty court and to be put on the wanted list. I left Kazakhstan in the fall of 2020, and I left legally,” he said.
Currently, Serikzhan is on the authorities’ terrorist watchlist,
his bank accounts frozen, and his property and car in Kazakhstan seized. His wife and three children are now in exile in Turkey, unable to obtain U.S. visas.