Xinjiang locals cite 48 bans as reasons for some arrests

This man, accompanied by his children,
pleads for the freedom of his relative
trapped in China’s northwestern Xinjiang.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

ChinaAid

(Urumqi, Xinjiang—Oct. 16, 2018) As authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang ramp up persecution of ethnic minorities in the region, local residents have identified 48 “evil bans” used as bases for arresting people. If a person is found in violation of any of these bans, they will be locked away in one of the region’s notorious camps.

The bans include traveling abroad, knowing someone who has traveled abroad, watching foreign videos or movies, fasting, praying, attending religious seminars, downloading foreign software, not submitting voice recordings to the government, and speaking in a native language in public. Altogether, these bans number 48.

In addition, Saierkejian Bilaixi, the leader of the Kazakhstan-based rights organization Atajurt, said, “There are 32 specific regulations in Zhaosu County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture [in Xinjiang]. If you violate any of them, you can be arrested by the police.”

Many people have been arrested as a result of these bans, including the following individuals:

  1. Hastil Bahiti, a 23 year-old who was arrested because he watched a short video about Kazakhstan online.
  2. Sauletti Reamazani, a 25 year-old arrested and imprisoned in a “re-education camp” for watching a foreign film. Has family has not been able to contact him.
  3. Zhaziyirea Bahesha, who was sent to the “re-education camp” for downloading the file sharing app Zapya on his phone.

The number of people who have been arrested to their Islamic belief is much higher, since the authorities often wrongly fear peaceful Muslim citizens of having terrorist connections. Yerk Albuja, Bahiti Berken Sauletti, and Sawu Ali Khan Muheiyiha were among those arrested just in March and sent to “re-education camps.”

Such camps have spread rapidly across the region, holding thousands of ethnic minorities arbitrarily accused of crimes. While there, they are often tortured, forced to study propaganda, and denied food and water. Those who proclaim loyalty to the Communist Party are afforded better treatment.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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