Report on the current conditions of the Kazakh prisoners in East Turkistan

Report on the current conditions of the Kazakh prisoners in East Turkistan

(Almaty, Kazakhstan—May 27, 2018) Recently released Kazakh prisoners held a round table meeting in a hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan in order to inform the outside world of what had happened in the Xinjiang prisons. They asked the government of Kazakhstan and international human rights groups to follow up on the Kazakhs detained in the Xinjiang reformation camps.
On Tuesday, a Kazakh youth civil organization called Atajurt held the round table meeting in Hotel Kazakhstan. Three former prisoners newly released from the reformation camps in Xinjiang, Kazakhstan citizens Amanjiang Saiyiti and Yilati Salmahan and Chinese citizen Kulziwa Mogdun, attended the conference. They thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government of Kazakhstan, and the media for the help and recounted their sufferings in the reformation camps.

One of the leaders of the Atajurt Youth Organization, Saierkejian Bilaixi, told the reporter on Wednesday that the organization invited the newly released Kazakh prisoners and the family members of those still detained in Xinjiang to the round table conference. About 50 people attended. “Among [the attendees] was Kuliziya Mogudong, a Kazakh Muslim who was forced to have an abortion. Her husband is demanding one million dollars from the Chinese government for compensation.”

During the conference, more than 40 people revealed the sufferings of their family members in the reformation camps of Xinjiang. According to Bilaixi, the family members who reside in Kazakhstan cannot reach the prisoners in China. “In most cases, it’s wives talking about their husbands forcibly detained in the political training centers in China. These women could not contact their husband; nor could they support themselves. The government of Kazakhstan did not help them. Civil organizations like us distributed necessary materials and money. The victims demand the government of Kazakhstan and the international human rights groups to follow up on the Xinjiang Kazakhs.”

In addition, a Kazakh woman named Qalia Qabelqaze talked about her brother Watbek Qabelqaze, who was arrested by the Chinese police when visiting his mother in Xinyuan County, Ili on October 15 last year. He was arrested for having WhatsApp in his phone. Qalia said, “The Chinese government has numerous reasons to arrest a person, accusing people who have any connection with Kazakhstan of ‘having a political background’. In the beginning of this year, my mother asked for her passport, and the police refused. They said ‘Your family is still under surveillance. Don’t even think of going abroad.’ My brother has been detained for seven months. I don’t know what will become of him.”

Another Kazakh woman talked about her husband Kurbanali Aibol. He visited his ill mother in China on February 1, 2017, but the police sent him to the reformation center. She said, “My husband was sent to the reformation camp. We can’t reach him. I know the prisoners are electrocuted and forced to take medications and eat pork. They are tortured and the dissidents are beaten to death. The children and I are worried about his wellbeing.”

Jomart Aixa, a Kazakh who lives in Almaty, said that many ethnic minorities are suffering in the Chinese Communist concentration camps. She said that although her sister, Jomart Kamil, had obtained her Kazakh citizenship, she was detained in Xinjiang. “My younger sister lived in the Muher Village of Gongliu County, Ili Prefecture. She has been detained for four months. The police took her away on January 25. We haven’t been able to reach her ever since. The police accused her of ‘helping and accommodating foreigners.’” Aixa hopes that the international community could help them and other Kazakhs going through similar situations.

Bilaixi said that the organization had already commissioned lawyers to sue the Xinjiang police at the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the International Court of Justice.

ChinaAid exposes human rights violations against Kazakhs and other minority groups in Western China in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team

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