“My father suspiciously died one day after he was told he could leave China”: our exclusive series of testimonies of ethnic Kazakhs persecuted in China continues.
by Serikzhan Bilash and Karima Abdrakhmova*
*Galman Kochiigit, Bekzat Maxutkan, Gulzhan Toktassyn, Galym Rakizhan, and Tilek Niyazbek cooperated with the interviews and in preparing this series.
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Arshyn Abikesh told us about his father Abikesh Samenuly, who was a victim of the Chinese genocide and was sent to one of the transformation through education camps in November 2017. He was accused of visiting Kazakhstan too many times and going to the mosque on Fridays.
He visited Kazakhstan regularly in the period between 2013 and 2017. Upon his last return to China, in November 2017, he was detained and sent to Turgun transformation through education camp in Dörbiljin county (Emin county). It caused deterioration of his health in spite of the fact that he was a sportsman, was racing regularly, and had never had health problems before.
During imprisonment, he was sent to a prison hospital once but was sent back to the camp. Having experienced lung problems and cold, he was vaccinated with an unknown medicine in prison. It was told to him this was a vaccine against the flu, but he was quite suspicious about it, as he told his son Arshyn a few hours after he was released from the fact camp.
In fact, Arshyn asked help from human rights organizations and he believes that this is why his father was released from prison in October 2019 and allowed to go to Kazakhstan. However, he died the next day after getting his passport.
Arshyn does not believe his father died of natural causes. He suspects that he was poisoned before he could join the ranks of those who reveal the crimes committed by the CCP in the camps.
All members of his family were in Kazakhstan, and could not attend the funeral. The family did not even receive information in what place he was buried, and whether a religious ceremony was performed before the funeral, as Abikesh Samenuly would certainly have requested.
Arshyn demands compensation from the Chinese government for moral damages, and for harming his father’s health in a way that caused his death.
*Karima Abdrakhmanova was born in 1962 in Taraz, Kazakhstan, and lives in Petropavlosk, in North Kazakhstan. She graduated in 1985 from Kyrgyz Pedagogical Women Institute and is a teacher of English language.