A human rights group has confirmed that China is forcibly separating Uyghur children from their families.
According to Amnesty International, more than a million Uyghurs have been held in mass detention centers in Xinjiang Province since 2017. The government insists that they are re-education centers, but they have been linked to horrific allegations of forced labor and sterilization, and systematic rape, abuse and torture.
The group said this was part of the Chinese government’s efforts to promote religious beliefs and rooting out aspects of cultural identity in order to enforce political loyalty.
With access to Xinjiang extremely restricted, Amnesty spoke to families who fled the persecution and left their children with relatives in China, some of whom are now were taken to internment camps.
This is the case of Mihriban Kader and Ablikim Memtinin, parents who left their four children in the care of their grandparents, whose grandfather was taken to a camp and whose grandmother was interrogated by the police. </ Mihriban told Amnesty: "Our other relatives did not dare to look after my children, after what happened to my parents. They were afraid that they would also be sent to camps. "
She added, » Now my children are in the hands of the Chinese government and I am not sure I will be able to meet them again in my life. What hurts the most is that for my children it is like their parents no longer exist. as if we died and they are orphaned. “
In another case, Omer and Meryem Faruh fled to Turkey in 2016, leaving their two youngest children in the care of their grandparents. They have since been taken to camp and the parents have not yet heard about the children’s safety.
Omer said, « We have not heard our daughters’ voices in the past 1,594 days. My wife and I just cry at night and try to hide our grief from our other children here with us. «
Alkan Akad, China researcher at Amnesty International, said: » The heartbreaking testimonies of the parents we spoke to only scratch the surface of the scale of the suffering suffered by Uighur families separated from their children. The Chinese government must end its heartless policies in Xinjiang and ensure that families can be reunited as quickly as possible without fear of being sent to a repression camp. “
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC accredited degree in multimedia journalism, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National while working as a freelance film journalist, becoming a Rotten Accredited Critic Tomatoes. He has now left his Scottish homelands to work as a journalist at UNILAD.
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