China | Amnesty interviewed Uighur families from whom China has deprived children of orphanages

The human rights organization is urging China to release all Uighur children who have been taken to orphanages without the consent of their families.

China has broken up Uighur families by depriving them of state orphanages, which has caused great suffering to families, reports human rights organization Amnesty International.

The report, released on Friday, was reported by, among others, the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC.

The organization has interviewed Uighur parents in their report who left their children in the care of relatives in China when they had to flee the country. Since then, parents have not heard of their children.

The human rights organization is urging China to release all Uighur children who have been taken to orphanages without the consent of their families.

“China’s relentless mass arrests in Xinjiang have put separated families in an impossible situation. Children are not allowed to leave, but their parents face persecution and arbitrary detention if they try to return home to take care of their children, ”said Amnesty’s China researcher Alkan Akad.

In the report there are six families who fled China before the mass arrests began in 2017. They now live in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, but without their children.

Mihriban Kader and Ablikim Memtinin fled Xinjiang to Italy in 2016 after police harassed them and pressured them to surrender their passports.

The couple temporarily left their four children in the care of their grandparents, but the grandmother was taken to a detention camp while police questioned their grandfather.

“After that, our other relatives didn’t dare take the children in their care when it became clear what had happened to my parents,” Mihriban Kader told Amnesty. “They were afraid of going to the detention camp.”

In November 2019, the couple received permission from Italy to bring their 12- to 16-year-old children into the country, but the children were arrested by Chinese police while on their way to the Italian consulate in Shanghai. Police took them to a state orphanage and boarding school.

“Now my children are in the custody of the Chinese government and I’m not sure I’ll ever meet them again in my life,” Mihriban Kader said.

Amnesty according to China, more than a million Uighurs have been arrested since 2017. Uighurs have been locked up in various detention camps where they have been tortured and ill-treated.

China has denied forcing Uighurs to camp. It has called the camps retraining centers used to fight terrorism.

The Uighurs are a minority of Chinese people, most of whom are Muslims. They live mostly in northwest China, Xinjiang Province.

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