A 76-year-old bed-ridden Muslim has been sent for “transformation through education” after one of his grandchildren has been detained.
Ma Weijun (pseudonym), a Hui Muslim from Wusu city, Xinjiang Province, is entirely incapable of taking care of himself because he is paralyzed and can’t even speak. When his 20-year-old grandson, Ma Hongguo (pseudonym), couldn’t continue his studies due to an illness, his family decided to send him for the Quran studies with an imam in the local mosque. Ma Hongguo managed to go there only a few times: he was discovered by his community cadres who claimed that he, like other Muslim young men, should go to a “standard school.” Ma Hongguo, believing that he would be able to continue studying the Quran, left home in February 2018. He soon realized that the so-called “standard school” was one of the “transformation through education camps.” The police asked Ma Hongguo who had made him study the Quran, and he, not wanting to implicate his parents, said that it was his grandfather.
In the afternoon of May 20, four local police officers came to Ma Weijun’s home and took him away in an ambulance, claiming they were driving him for a physical examination. Believing the lie, his children agreed to let them take him, and he was sent to a “transformation through education camp” in Wusu city.
His children couldn’t bear to see their paralyzed father become victim to such torture and abuse but did not dare to protest. They have tried negotiating with the camp’s authorities to bring some food to the Ma Weijun from home because the food in the camp was terrible, but they refused.
According to reports, local village cadres visit the homes of six Ma Weijun’s children almost daily. Afraid of being sent to camps themselves, they don’t dare to speak out.
Reported by Li Zaili