The young woman escaped China to avoid being detained in a camp. She now risks to be deported back there.
by Massimo Introvigne
In the Spring of 2018, Kaisha Akhan, an ethnic Kazakh woman living in Xinjiang, was informed that she was about to be detained in one of the dreaded transformation through education camps. Before this happened, on May 7, 2018, she escaped to Kazakhstan. She crossed the border without authorization, but hoped to get refugee status in Kazakhstan.
Kaisha got a temporary asylum seeker certificate, which does not guarantee security or stability in Kazakhstan. She has not been able to work for the past two years, as the certificate is not valid for applying for any job. Also, it does not guarantee medical care, or social assistance. When she needed a surgery, she had to pay from her own meager pocket.
Kaisha is seeking full refugee status, but even the lawyer she had hired declined to represent her further. Her temporary asylum certificate will expire on November 20, 2020. She statedthat, “it is unknown at this time what will happen to me, the chances of my deportation to China are very high. Even, it is very possible that I may be kidnapped to China, so I am worried about my fate. That’s why I ask for help from international human rights organizations, the world community, and all democratic countries.”
Bitter Winter joins the Kazakh human rights organizations that have asked the Kazakh government to protect the human rights of Kaisha, and not to give back a victim to her persecutors.