Authorities closed down a Mosque in Ergong village in the city of Shihezi, Xinjiang, and sent local Muslims to a “transformation through education” camp in late April.
A local villager said that on April 20, 2018, the Shihezi police and auxiliary police surrounded the mosque in Team 3 of Ergong village and ordered the Hui (Chinese Muslims) people there to stop attending religious gatherings. They closed down the mosque and seized copies of the Quran and some other items.
The mosque’s administrators, Feng Yinshan and Ma Wenchuan, were taken into custody because they refused to comply with the closure of the mosque and argued with the police. Over 20 Muslims were also arrested at the site. An insider revealed that the police beat and tortured the Muslims they had captured in an attempt to force them to report on other Muslims.
On April 21, the police once again savagely charged into this village of over a hundred households and arrested 80 more people; all of them detained in the Shihezi 145th Regiment Drug Rehabilitation Center.
A local public security employee revealed that the arrested Muslims would remain in detention for three to five years.
It is understood that since the closure of the Shihezi mosque and the arrests, the local government tried to keep the information about the events secret, the police sealing off the roads to the village to prevent others from getting there. Authorities require people entering the village to register with their IDs, state whose house they are going to, and the reason for their visit under the pretext of maintaining stability
Reported by Li Zaili