An Uyghur couple from Xinjiang under government-sanctioned persecution.
The local police in Shanshan County detained an Uyghur man in May this year. His wife, Ms. Gulnur (pseudonym) says his crime was reading Quran with an imam for a month thirty years ago. As per the Chinese law, reading scriptures in private without prior government approval is illegal.
Ms. Gulnur’s husband is currently being held against will at the Shanshan County Welfare Institute, a transformation through education camp. He is being taught the 3,000 Chinese characters and will be released only when he can clear the exams. He is not allowed to meet with his wife either; they can talk via phone for less than 30 minutes.
Since the beginning of 2018, Chinese authorities have been implementing the so-called “home-stay” program in Xinjiang Province – over a million Communist Party cadres, officials of state institutions, and employees of government-run organizations are sent to live with Muslim Uyghur minority families to indoctrinate them and to look for signs of religious extremism. Though, on the surface, government cadres claim to visit homes of Uyghur people to ensure “all nationalities (ethnicities) unite together as a warm family.”
The practice is anything but warm for Ms. Gulnur, who works in an agricultural field to support herself. The cadres often stay for days and leave by the time it’s already hot outside, which means she is often unable to do her day’s work.
It has also been reported that whenever the government detains an Uyghur, it is very likely he or she will spend the rest of their life in detention. Ms. Gulnur has no idea when her husband might be released and fears the worst.
Reported by Li Benbo