|Ethnic minorities, such as those pictured
above, are often persecuted in Xinjiang.
(Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang—Oct. 20, 2018) Xinjiang police sentenced 14 young people recently after arresting them at a birthday party as part of China’s ongoing persecution of ethnic minorities in the region.
Tuokesenbai Ayitinuer, the uncle of one of the people arrested, said that his nephew, Bolashahe Tuerxunhali, had joined a group on the Chinese social media platform WeChat that consisted of 14 people living in his area. One woman, Nawurizibai Yizibasaer, invited them to her daughter’s birthday party. When they attended the party that evening, the authorities took them into custody and detained them in an infamous “re-education camp”—where prisoners are often starved, tortured, and brainwashed—for two months. Afterwards, the authorities asked their parents to watch TV at the office of the village committee, locked the door, and then tried the young people at the local cotton mill without the presence of lawyers or a judge, breaking judicial protocol.
Nawurizibai Yizibasaer and Bieken Yeerzhuma were sentenced to 21 years in prison, while Aletengbieke Yiminjiang and Nuersanati Zhabukebai received an 11-year sentence, and Jianati Biekesuletan, Dalieli Miedietihan, Bagedati Kuokesebai, Yeerzhati Dehan, Bolashake Tuerxunhali, Ayazi Matai, Bayaxiati Bagedawulie were sentenced to 13 years.
The three others, Huzhuerbieke Amangaierdi, Aimieerding Yeerkenjiang, and Beisen Hayinaer, have been imprisoned in a “re-education camp.”
Similar persecution is occurring across the region, as Chinese authorities pin innocent individuals with false charges and imprison them in the camps on account of their race and, in many cases, Islamic faith. The officials claim that this curbs terrorism, but those often have no terrorist connections and are profiled just for their race and religion.
For instance, Xinjiang law enforcement placed Gulimanati Kezier, a 58 year-old Kazakh Chinese woman who lived in Tacheng, Xinjiang, and had obtained a Kazakhstan green card, in a “re-education camp” on Dec. 24, 2017. In January, she was released, but they arrested her again three days later.
She told her son, Ayinuer Muhaxi, that they had taken her because she had WhatsApp, a social media cell phone application. No update has been available on her since Jan. 25.
Muhaxi said, “My mother has many debilitating illnesses, such as blood clots in her brain, stomach ulcers, gall bladder inflammation, and other ailments. I am very worried about her health.”
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.