Muslim businessmen sent to 're-education centers' for having too much money

Monday, July 16, 2018

Aitkaniy Ganiygul, a Kazakh
woman, pleads for her
husbands released in a video.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Ili Kazakh Autonomous Region, Xinjiang—July 16, 2018) Amid mass arbitrary detentions of ethnic minority Muslims, officials in China’s northwestern Xinjiang began arresting moderately wealthy businessmen last year, according to a recent ChinaAid report.

An anonymous Xinjiang Muslim confirmed this, saying the region is heavily sentencing those involved in manufacturing or real estate. “The police also warn the relatives of the sentenced person not to tell the truth to [people living abroad], even overseas relatives. Every time we pass customs, we need to be very careful, for we don’t know when the day will come in which we are all seized.”

Many of the businessmen are in real estate or manufacturing and have more than 1 million yuan [$149,405.00 USD], and some are already serving 10-20 year sentences. One of them, real estate developer Nuertaiamuji, was rumored to be dead before his niece claimed he is still alive. Dilshat Reshit, spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress headquartered in Germany, said, “We haven’t had any news about his most recent condition. However, in the Hotan, Kashi area in southern Xinjiang and Ili [Kazakh Autonomous Region] in northern Xinjiang, many Uyghur real estate developers were prosecuted politically by the government, and some were shut in concentration camps and sentenced heavily. Additionally, if they have a certain amount of money in the bank, they will be placed in a ‘re-education center.’ They must have been tortured once they were arrested.”

“Re-education centers,” or holding centers notorious for starving, torturing, and politically brainwashing ethnic minorities, have spread rapidly throughout Xinjiang in the last few years as local authorities have systematically rounded up and imprisoned innocent Muslims. This stems from China’s fear of extremist religion, but instead of targeting terrorists, it instead affects peaceful believers in Islam.

For instance, Aitkaniy Ganiygul, a China-born Kazakh, immigrated to Kazakhstan seven years ago and lived there with her husband, Amantai Abil, and four children. In July 2017, Abil returned to Bole, Xinjiang, to visit his parents, but he was arrested by China’s national security and locked away for nine months. Even today, he cannot leave China, even though he has committed no crime.

“There is no one to help me raise the four children,” Ganiygul said. “Our lives are extremely hard. I request that the Chinese Communist party release my husband [to return home] and pay $200 million for psychological compensation. I will accuse the police in Jinghe County, Bole of arresting my husband for no reason before the U.N. They broke up my family, nobody raises my children, and they have brought difficulty to a Kazakhstan family. I need international human rights lawyers either domestically or overseas. I am asking you all to help the innocent children.”

Another Chinese Kazakh, Oralbay Nurlan, said his brother and mother came to Kazakhstan , where he has resided since 2009, to visit him in 2017 and were arrested when they returned. Even a year later, they have not been released. He worries about his sick and weak mother, and he hopes Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international human rights groups can help his mother and brother leave China and come to Kazakhstan.

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.

ChinaAid Media Team
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