Uighurs in China: ‘I didn’t even know if my mum was alive’

BBC London 18 Feb 2020

Aziz Isa Elkun is one of many Uighur Muslims living in London who have been cut off from contacting their families based in Xinjiang. 

Since 2016, China has detained more than one million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in what they call “educational centres”.

However, documents seen by the BBC show that these camps use violence and torture to drive Uighurs away from their Islamic beliefs. 

Aziz has several family members in the camps. He wants to be a voice for the Uighur community in the UK and is now calling on the UK Foreign Office to help them find out if their families are alive.

Reporter and producer: Gem O’Reilly; Filmed and edited by Cristian Mantio

Source: BBC London
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-51532812/uighurs-in-china-i-didn-t-even-know-if-my-mum-was-alive

We must not forgot Xinjiang and the horrors being committed there

JULIET SAMUEL
The Telegraph 22 FEBRUARY 2020

People whose loved ones are being held in the Chinese Government’s camps in Xinjiang join a protest in Kazakhstan

One option on the cocktail list jumped out at me. It was called the “Xinjiang”. For a while, I couldn’t actually register the ingredients. All I could think of, when I saw the name of China’s western-most province, was Beijing’s imprisonment of more than 1 million of its people in “re-education” camps, where they are tortured, raped, forcibly used for medical testing and organ harvesting, and made to recite their “crimes” and extoll the virtues of the Chinese Communist Party.

Back to the menu. The “Xinjiang” was a gin-based concoction with plum, ginger and cumin. A complementary dish, a “Uighur burger”, consisted of pulled lamb in a soft, Chinese bun. “They are Muslim in Xinjiang, so they eat a lot of lamb,” said the waitress.

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‘Pure evil’: Satellites show destroyed Uyghur graves in China

By Matt Rivers, CNN January 3, 2020

Beijing (CNN) – Uyghur poet Aziz Isa Elkun fled China’s far western Xinjiang region more than 20 years ago.He’s not welcome in the country. He can’t even phone his mother. She said it was better if he didn’t, because every time he did, police would show up at her door. So, when Elkun’s father died in 2017, there was no way he could go back to China for the burial. To be closer to his family, he would view his father’s grave on Google Earth.”I know exactly where his tomb is,” Elkun told CNN in his north London home. “When I was a kid we would go there, pray at the mosque, visit our relatives. The entire community was connected to that graveyard.”He “visited” his father like this for nearly two years. But in June, something changed. The satellite photo on Google had been updated and the graveyard that used to be there was now nothing more than a flattened, empty field.”I had no idea what happened,” said Elkun. “I was completely in shock.”

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