Issue 20: Uyghurs Imprisoned for Praying In Their Homes

World Uyghur Congress, 4 June 2018

In 2015, the Chinese government criminalised prayer among groups in East Turkistan and also took similar actions in terms of prayer at one’s own home. In May 2015, a group of eight Uyghur farmers and one imam were sentenced to between seven and nine years in 2016 for “illegal religious practice” for “praying together in places that authorities had not designated for Muslim worship.”

A letter from a village resident sent to Radio Free Asia said that the imam and the farmers had now joined the ranks of political prisoners who number one per every three families in Peyshenbebazar county, a very high number at the time for a town of just 1,500 people. Areas of East Turkistan with larger proportions of Uyghurs have been targeted in the past and are now suffering as large numbers have been sent to political indoctrination camps over the last year.

Those now in detention are Turdi Mamut, Turdi Abla, Tursun Mamut, Ismail Awut, Ablikim Tursun, Exet Awut, Abla Awut, Memet Setirashand as well as the imam Eziz Emet.