Wife of imprisoned Kazakh anti-CCP activist asks the international community to save her husband, claiming he may be secretly deported to China and “disappear” there.
by Leila Adilzhan
My name is Leila Adilzhan. I am Serikzhan Bilash’s wife and the mother of his two children. I know that readers of Bitter Winter are familiar with the case of Serikzhan Bilash. He is a well-known Kazakh human right activist, who was arrested for telling the truth and denouncing the horrific situation of the transformation through education camps in Xinjiang where, in addition to Uyghurs and other Muslims, tens of thousands of ethnic Kazakhs are imprisoned by the CCP.
My husband’s lawyer, Aiman Umarova, is asking the United Nations and other international organizations to intervene on behalf of Serikzhan. I and Ms. Umarova believe Serikzhan’s life to be in danger. He may be deported to China, where he will “disappear,” never to reappear, as it happened for so many others.
Aiman Umarova has publicly denounced the massive slandering campaign organized against Serikzhan Bilash through the social networks. She is persuaded that Kazakh and Chinese security agencies are beyond this campaign. It should be stopped. This campaign is dangerous for Serikzhan’s own life. Other Kazakh human rights activists, who support my husband’s organization, Atajurt, have also emphasized this point. Mr. Shynkuat Baizhanov has informed the Department of Internal Affairs of Almaty and the Prosecutors of Almaty about the danger of these social networks posts. As an answer, the Department of Internal Affairs pretended not to have seen them. Slanderers grossly violate the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and commit various criminal offenses. They also increase the risk of persecution for Serikzhan’s supporters.
The campaign claims that Serikzhan Bilash, while pretending to criticize the CCP, is in fact a Chinese spy, and all his human rights activities are in fact “a Chinese project.” This would be ridiculous, were it not for the fact that I believe the campaign is intended to prepare Kazakh public opinion for Serikzhan’s “disappearance.” He may be drugged and taken clandestinely to China. Then, it will be claimed that “a Chinese spy escaped to China.” He will never reappear to contest this version.
Because of this situation, let me state in the most firm way that my husband Serikzhan Bilash is not a Chinese spy and is not working for any “Chinese project.”
He is a Kazakh patriot who has exposed the CCP’s crimes against ethnic Kazakhs and others. Serikzhan devoted his whole life to the human rights of Kazakhs, both in Kazakhstan and in China. I know it, being his wife and a Kazakh citizen and patriot myself.
I recognize the CCP’s bloody hand and dirty money behind this slander. The real Chinese agents in Kazakhstan finally realized that they cannot have Serikzhan convicted in Kazakhstan, nor can they keep him under house arrest indefinitely. By the way, I and my husband’s lawyer believe the house arrest to be illegal—he has been confined for five months in a “house” where he had never lived before, which is in no way his home. The CCP agents also realize it, and have devised a new plan to get rid of Serikzhan.
This is why I am urging the whole Kazakh society and the international human rights community to support Serikzhan. I demand Serikzhan’s transfer from Nur-Sultan (Astana) to Almaty, under independent media control and with the presence of his lawyer, Ms. Umarova. I demand that our government provides safe transfer to my husband. I also demand that in Almaty his lawyer and his friends may have free access to him. This is the only way to prevent his clandestine deportation to China and to save his life.
I know for some readers my fears may sound like a fairy tale, but in Kazakhstan everything is possible when it comes to relations with China. My country is full of Chinese agents, and there are also corrupted Kazakhs who work for the CCP. There are precedents of people kidnapped in Kazakhstan and forcibly taken to China, despite having a Kazakh passport. My children are as concerned as I am for their father. They ask when they will be with him again. Serikzhan should be supported now. Complaining when it will be too late will be useless.