Authorities in Xinjiang have become “creative” in coming up with causes for arrests of the province’s Muslim population.
Bitter Winter has reported previously how in a Huocheng county’s village almost all male population over thirty had been detained in “transformation through education” camps. We now received more reports about the detention of Muslims in the same county of Yining city under a variety of unreasonable pretexts.
In February 2018, 73-year-old Ma Shengkai and his five sons and three daughters were at home worshiping and reading the Quran when the CCP police broke into their house and arrested them for having a “gang gathering.” Mr. Ma’s daughter-in-law was arrested on trumped-up charges related to her mobile phone. The ten arrested family members were detained at Huocheng County Detention Center and a “transformation through education” camp where they remain to date. The same month, Ma Shengkai’s three nephews were also arrested for their belief in Islam.
On February 28, Ma Zhiliang and his son were locked up in a “transformation through education” camp because they applied for passports.
In March, the local police forcibly detained three brothers in a “transformation through education” camp because they had used a file-sharing mobile phone app called Zapya. While another Muslim, Han Mingliang, was arrested on March 8 because he admitted reading the Quran in his childhood.
On March 15, a Muslim man was arrested because the United Front Work Department had not stamped his Quran. A Kazakh imam from the same village was also arrested on the same day.
70-year-old Zheng Yingming went to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage six years ago and was pursued by the CCP police afterward. Since they were unable to arrest Zheng Yingming, they took away his grandson instead. In May, Mr. Zheng surrendered to authorities voluntarily.
(All names in this article are pseudonyms.)
Reported by Li Zaili