A Uyghur woman detained in a makeshift camp in China’s Xinjiang region has arrived safely in the United States, the Uyghur human rights group said on Saturday, ending months of uncertainty over whether she would be forcibly repatriated. Kazakhstan.
In Tursunya, Ziaudun first settled in Kazakhstan with her husband, a Kazakh national, after spending 10 months in captivity without being charged as a criminal. But last year the Kazakh government told him he would have to return to China to apply for a new visa as a matter of procedure. Back in the country he would probably have been re-arrested.
BuzzFeed News His case report In February
Omar Kanat, executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, said in a statement, “We are greatly relieved that Tursunay is now safe in the United States,” adding that he had already arrived safely and his agency was assisting him with rehabilitation and access to medical treatment for a serious health condition.
China has detained more than a million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in mass camps since the end of 2016. According to independent estimates. The government said the settlements were “vocational training”, but former detainees, including Ziaudun, made it clear that they had been forcibly brought to the camp and said they had been subjected to other abuses, including insults, hunger, beatings and regular interrogation.
The Chinese government claimed in December that those who went through the “vocational training” program had “graduated”, but more recently BuzzFeed News investigation Instead, it was found that large, purpose-built intercity camps and prisons were under construction.
Ziaudun’s lawyer said he believed the press coverage had helped his case.
Aina Shoromanbayeva, a lawyer for Ziaudun in Kazakhstan, told BuzzFeed News that “her situation required her to tell her story.”
Ziaudun is one of the few former detainees who has left China and has spoken publicly about their experiences. The Washington, D.C.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project said his home was set on fire in “suspicious circumstances” after he began telling his story in February. (Ziaudun’s lawyer confirmed that his house had been set on fire.)
He later traveled to Istanbul for treatment, Shoromanbayeva said, before being allowed to travel to the United States. He is still in the process of being granted refugee status in Kazakhstan, but Shourmanbayeva says he doubts the Kazakh government will grant him that status.
However, he added that the risk of forcing Xiaodun back to China has decreased.
“I hope he stays safe in the United States,” his lawyer said.