More than 100 asylum seekers were detained in Almaty and escorted back to Xinjiang by officers of the Chinese Consulate and Kazakh police.
by Dilnur Sultanov
Almaty, January 9, 2022: it is with extreme sadness that we report about the death of a country. There are many information the international media did not report. Violence falsely attributed to protesters has been in fact committed by plainclothes police, who deliberately smashed windows and burned cars and houses to justify the deadly repression. The Almaty City Government building, for example, was not burned by real demonstrators. We have reports we cannot verify, but coming from serious sources, that some of those firing at Kazakh civilians were not Kazakh soldiers, but Russian “peacekeepers” wearing Kazakh uniforms. We also have reports that the National Security Bureau prevented wounded protesters in hospitals from receiving proper care.
Mass arrests are taking place. Interestingly for the readers of Bitter Winter, among those arrested are people who were not particularly active in the current protests but have demonstrated in the last few months against the detention of thousands of ethnic Kazakhs in the dreaded transformation through education camps in Xinjiang. Some of them were badly beaten by the police. After the present chaos, protests against China will probably become impossible, and those who publicly denounce Chinese atrocities in Xinjiang will all be in jail.
One of the leaders of the protest against China, human rights activist Bekzat Maxutkan, was badly beaten by the police. He was arrested and released two times. Bekzat was part of the team who prepared the series of interviews with ethnic Kazakh refugees from China in East Kazakhstan that Bitter Winter published in November.
Worse still, in Almaty asylum seekers who escaped Xinjiang and ethnic Kazakh students with a Chinese passport who do not want to return to China are being detained and immediately deported back to China by officers of the Chinese Consulate and Kazakh police. They are ethnic Kazakh citizens of China who managed to cross the border, sought asylum, and applied for Kazakh citizenship. Some already had their green card and were legally entitled to remain in Kazakhstan.
More than one hundred such refuges were taken from their homes, detained, and forcibly escorted to the Horgos Customs, where the border between Kazakhstan and China is closed but was abnormally re-opened, allowing them to be taken back to Xinjiang.
The hunt for Xinjiang refugees continues amid the anarchy and repression prevailing in Kazakhstan, proving that the CCP maintains an effective network of secret agents in the country, who have followed and harassed the asylum seekers even before the present tragic events.