12 Uyghurs detained on falsified terrorism charges



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Unidentified individuals stand outside of a
home in Xinjiang. (Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Hotan, Xinjiang—March 17, 2018) A newspaper in China’s northwestern Xinjiang announced on Tuesday that authorities had arrested 12 Uyghur social media users on the fabricated charge of spreading illegal information online.

Uyghurs living in Aksu Prefecture reported that a 23 year-old man anmed Tuo was seized by police on Jan. 10 after they accused him of downloading multiple e-books about terrorism. Five days later, police took a 34 year-old Uyghur man into custody for storing multiple audio visual materials that contained violence and religious extremism on his hard drive. From Jan. 9-16, five Uyghur women between the ages of 26 and 31 named Sai, He, Gu, Ka, and A received the charge of storing and audio and visual material that contained terrorism and religious extremism.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, said that the charges were mere political excuses for increasing internet surveillance. Xinjiang recently issued a new set of internet regulations, which are intended to prevent people from circulating news or ideologies it deems a threat to its authority, likely innocent expressions of Islamic belief.

Additionally, China’s definition of extremism and terrorism is broad, and officials often use it to prosecute peaceful practitioners of Islam. ChinaAid recently learned of a Kazakh woman named Pattiman who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Xinjiang for teaching Islam and Arabic to other people of Kazakh descent.

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

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