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China holds one in 25 of an Uyghur county in prison

China holds one in 25 of an Uyghur county in prison

Beijing: China's crackdown on Uyghurs knows no limit. More than 10,000 of them have been jailed in just Konasheher county alone - which sits in the Uyghur heartland in Southern Xinjiang.

Making up the world's highest imprisonment rate, nearly one in 25 here is in jail on terrorism charges, according to Associated Press.

A list obtained by AP carries the names of Uyghurs in jail indicating where China's war on terror has taken most of the Muslim community here.

The list, by far the biggest according to AP, shows the sheer size of China's campaign which swept into internment camps and prisons an estimated one million or more.

The list was obtained by Xinjiang scholar Gene Bunin from an anonymous source, according to the report.

The exiled Uyghur linguist in Norway, Abduweli Ayup reportedly passed the list to AP.

AP authenticated it interviewing eight Uyghurs who recognised 194 people on the list. Alongside, the news agency took into account legal notices, phone recordings of calls with Chinese officials as well as birth days and identity numbers.

It proves right what families and right groups frequently said that China had plans for long-term incarceration.

Following global criticism, China in 2019 announced closure of short-term extrajudicial internment camps.

Despite this, thousands according to the report, still languish for years or decades in prison on trumped-up terrorism charges.

The report carried what people have to say about those in prisons whom they know personally.

For example, Uyghur farmer Rozikari Tohti's cousin Mihrigul Musa was reportedly shocked to discover Tohti, the soft spoken family-loving man, was thrown in prison for five years.

She said she never thought he would be arrested.

Tohti's younger brother Abilikim Tohti was sentenced to seven years for "gathering the public to disturb social order."

Their neighbour Nurmemet Dawut was facing 11-year term on the same charges.

More than 267,000 people live in Konasheher county and a large number of its residents face sentences for two to 25 years, averaging nine years.

Most of the people in the list put out by AP were arrested in 2017 and a majority of them would still be in prison.

However, Chinese authorities, especially Xinjiang spokesman Elijan Anayat, claimed sentences were carried out in accordance with the law.

After Uyghurs resented Beijing's heavy-handed rule, China tried for decades to control Xinjiang, resulting in violent clashes with the government.

China started widespread crackdown in 2017 after a handful of Uyghur militants started a string of knifings and bombings, according to the report.

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TAGS:Uyghur Muslims 
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