The authorities in Tacheng Prefecture buried the ruins of destroyed seven mosques to cover up any traces of the demolition.
In March 2018, the Shanghudi township government arrested four Muslims in succession and used the arrests to coerce villagers into signing a document voluntarily agreeing to the destruction of their mosque.
On April 25, the authorities began the demolition, which lasted for five days. The locals were afraid even to approach the mosque for fear of being arrested.
To destroy all residual evidence, 21 days after the demolition, the authorities spent 5,500 RMB on dispatching excavators and burying the bricks from the destroyed mosque. Today, the original sites of the mosques have become flattened tracts of land, with no trace of the demolitions.
On April 17, a mosque on Dongfeng North Road in Laoshawan town was also demolished. The authorities forcibly destroyed two truckloads of mosque carpets and buried all items that could not be burned. Afterward, shops were constructed and rented out on the original site of the mosque.
Three mosques in Shawan county’s Sidaohezi town and two more in the villages of Lijiaping and Shuimogou were also forcibly demolished and later razed to the ground.
Reported by Li Zaili