British newspaper The Times published a report on a group of Uyghurs in exile in Istanbul speaking of their intense fear for their families in Xinjiang, in the far northwest of China.
The newspaper said that this fear haunting Uyghurs in Istanbul over a “sneaky” TV documentary they saw this month on the official English-language Beijing channel, which was clear in its message that the world is wrong about what is happening in Xinjiang. Read also The Guardian: China built 380 concentration camps for Muslim minorities in Xinjiang China denies destroying Uyghur mosques in Xinjiang Uyghur girls in Turkey: here we learned about religion and freedom Uyghur women … the resounding voice of the persecuted that China doesn’t want you to hear
Far from relentless persecution, the documentary says China is waging a just war against what it has called a treacherous terrorist group.
To prove it, the documentary, titled War In Hide: Challenges of Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, showed a group of imprisoned men expressing remorse for their actions.
The film claimed – according to the newspaper – that they were part of a network of corrupt officials, businessmen and children’s textbook authors who radicalized the Uyghurs and organized their trip to Syria to join ISIS, as well as to launch attacks inside China.
But Istanbul Uyghurs, as the newspaper reported, realized the documentary was not telling the truth because their parents and an uncle were among those who confessed onscreen.
“My father is not the person who stigmatizes him with this slander. These are all lies. What he says in the video is not true. He has never participated in politics or religion, ”said Abdul Salam Applimit, 21.
The newspaper pointed out that Abd al-Salam’s father, Aplimit Aba Bakr (51) and his uncle Abdoheit (46), were businessmen who sent their children to Egypt to study and to international schools. . Publicity
They visited them regularly, but in 2017, as Beijing stepped up its crackdown on Xinjiang, Egypt began deporting Uyghurs to China. The boys moved to Turkey, where they joined around 50,000 other Uyghurs in exile.
The official Beijing channel has also been affected by complaints from Chinese in exile in Britain, who say they broadcast a video of their relatives making forced confessions.
In the documentary, the brothers admitted they traveled to Egypt to transfer money to Bird Abbas, a key figure in the Turkestan Islamic Party, an Islamic group banned in China.
Sherzat Baudun, a Uyghur who also worked in the Chinese police, admitted in the film that he recruited them “to do whatever was necessary for an economic base, so I thought of the Applimit family and I recruited the two brothers ”.
Expressing his extreme fear, Aplemette Jr. said, “When I watched the video, I couldn’t sleep for two days. I feel very sad. I didn’t expect to see him in this situation and nothing could be done to help him. “
Ayknat Wahetijan’s father Uhtijan Othman, 58, also appeared in the film, which was an award-winning book publisher. He also “admits” to having modified the textbooks to promote Uyghur secession.
“I was so shocked that I could barely recognize my father. What he says is not possible. He’s not a terrorist, he wrote books, ”said Wahitegan, the 25-year-old son.
The newspaper said confessions, forced or not, are no stranger to the official Beijing channel. Ofcom (the British telecommunications watchdog) found that the channel had broken its rules by broadcasting what appeared to be a forced confession by British businessman and journalist Peter Humphrey, and the watchdog ruled that the channel was “unfair” in showing the video.
The newspaper concluded its report that the channel has also been the subject of complaints from Chinese in exile in Britain, who say they broadcast a video of their relatives making forced confessions.