The “Kazakh Robin Hood” fought against the CCP and was executed in 1951. Now, the CCP is identifying and arresting his family members.
Ospan Batyr (1899–1951) is a figure of epic proportions in Kazakh history. From 1939 to 1951, he fought against the CCP and for the independence of ethnic Kazakhs in what the Chinese call Xinjiang. Known as the “Kazakh Robin Hood,” Ospan Batyr was captured by the Chinese when his horse slipped on the ice of Lake Gaz Kul while he was trying to save his daughter. The CCP paraded him in the streets of Urumqi before he was executed on April 29, 1951.
Bitter Winter has learned of a large ongoing operation to identify, arrest, and detain all the descendants of Ospan Batyr, for no other reason that they are his more or less direct relatives.
Nurlan Nabiuly, the grandson of Ospan Batyr, was arrested in March 2018. He was born in 1966 in the Koktoghay (Ch. Fujun) county under the administration of the Altay District, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, in Xinjiang. Since 1990, he worked at the Koktoghay District People’s Court. In 2000, he retired from public service for health reasons. There was no reason to arrest him in 2018, except the shadow of his grandfather. His son, Parasat Nurlanuli, fled to Kazakhstan in 2017 and is now a Kazakh citizen. He is now actively campaigning to interest the Kazakh authorities and the international community in the situation of Nurlan Nabiuly.
Nagyz Mukhammeduly is a descendant of Ospan Batyr’s cousins. He was born in 1968 in Koktoghay county. Since 1991, he worked at the Koktoghay District House of Culture, then at the Altay Regional Cultural Institution. In 2015, his wife and two children moved to Kazakhstan, but he remained in Koktoghay. He was also arrested on March 14, 2018, just for his family relation with Ospan Batyr. On September 20, 2020, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was tortured and forced to plead guilty to charges of “separatism” and “nationalism.”
His 80-year-old mother Naziken Bikey is in Kazakhstan, and has asked the President of the country and the international organizations to intervene on behalf of her son, supported by Nagyz’s brother, Umbetay.
Tolkyn Sogysaiuly is another descendant of Ospan Batyr’s cousins. He was born in 1968 in Koktoghay county. Since 1990, he has been a teacher at Secondary School №1 of Koktoghay county. He was arrested on December 15, 2017 without any explanation. On July 10, 2020, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for “separatism.”
His father-in-law, Khadilbek Tuymebayuli, reports that in jail he “has been tortured and beaten. His arms and legs are broken. All over his body he suffered severe injuries.”
It is a paradoxical tribute to Ospan Batyr, who haunts the CCP’s nightmares seventy years after he was executed. But the CCP’s paranoia and vendetta are causing an enormous suffering to innocent families.