AP: China has jailed more than 10,000 Uighurs on charges of “terrorism.”

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AP China has jailed more than 10,000 Uighurs on charges of "terrorism."
A concentration camp in Xinjiang (AP)

It has been claimed that more than 10,000 Uyghur Turks living in the same province in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have been imprisoned on charges related to “terrorism”.

AP China has jailed more than 10,000 Uighurs on charges of "terrorism."
A concentration camp in Xinjiang (AP)

According to a special report by the Associated Press (AP), judicial records allegedly leaked from the regional government have sentenced more than 10,000 people living in the 267,000-strong Konasheher province in southern Xinjiang to prison terms ranging from 2 to 25 years on charges such as “terrorism,” “religious extremism,” and “causing unrest by starting a fight.”

The judicial records can be partially verified by examining evidence such as those who know the people on the list, legal subpoenas, minutes of phone calls with authorities, address, date of birth and identity numbers, and 1 out of every 25 people in the province’s adult population is imprisoned.

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Pointing out that the number of imprisoned citizens is well above the Chinese average in terms of population ratio, the report emphasized that the incarceration rate is 10 times higher than the United States, where the prisoner population is the most dense in the world.

The report, titled “China’s Uyghur province has the highest prison rate in the world,” also included statements by 8 Uyghur Turk witnesses who identified 194 people on the list, arguing that people they knew and had relatives could not have anything to do with the crimes.

Opinions of witnesses

Witness Mihrigül Musa stated that her cousin Rozikari Tohti, who was imprisoned on the list on charges of “religious extremism”, was “meek-headed, with three children, who loves his family, has no interest in religious extremism.”

Musa, who lives in exile in Norway, said of Tohti, “I never thought he would be arrested. If you saw it, you’d think the same thing. He’s very honest.”

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Musa noted that Tohti’s brother Ablikim was arrested on charges of “gathering the people to disrupt the social order” and his next-door neighbor, farmer Nurmemet Davut, was arrested on charges of “disturbing the peace by starting a fight.”

Abdülveli Eyüp, a Uighur living in exile who played a role in getting the records to the EP, said one of his cousins, neighbors and a high school chemistry teacher were on the list.

“I loved it when I saw the list. Until that day, I had tried to tell other people’s stories, but this time it was my story from my childhood.”

Eyüp said that the teacher Adil Tursun, who is respected by everyone, is the only person who can teach Chinese to children at the high school in the town of Tokuzak, and that the students trained by Tursun, who is a member of the Communist Party, received the highest grades in chemistry exams in the region.

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Eyüp, who expressed that he could not understand the accusation of names like Tursun on the list because they were “model citizens”, said, “These crime definitions are; spreading extremist ideas, separatism; these accusations are complete nonsense.”

The allegations have resurfaced allegations that Beijing’s practices in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region indiscriminately target the Uyghur minority and violate fundamental rights and freedoms.

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