Murager Alimuly and Qaster Musakhanuly have been granted political asylum but risk being sent back to China. The Kazakhs are the second largest Turkic and Muslim ethnic group in the Chinese autonomous region.
Nur-Sultan (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Some activists in Kazakhstan are asking that the authorities of the Central Asian country suspend the deportation of two men of Kazakh origin.
They were arrested on charges of illegally crossing the Chinese border. Both were fleeing persecution in the autonomous region of Xinjang, and one of them was detained for several years in what Beijing calls "training centers", but in reality they are real labor camps to neutralize ethnic and religious minorities.
The two men of Kazakh origin are Murager Alimuly and Qaster Musakhanuly. At the moment they are in prison awaiting trial. Arrested for crossing the border, they were granted political asylum in October. According to activists calling for their release, the prisoners "certainly" will be subjected to torture and could die if they were returned to China.
The activists are part of a movement that calls itself "initiators of the future Democratic Party of Kazakhstan". Their goal is to make "the country's task of protecting the rights of Kazakh citizens around the world".
In the Chinese region of Xinjiang, the Kazakhs represent the second largest ethnic group after that of the Uyghurs. The autonomous territory also hosts a good number of Kirgizi, Tajiks and Hui. For all these Turkic ethnic minorities, the predominant religion is Islam. Beijing accuses her of separatism and terrorism, justifying a harsh policy of military control.
The UN has repeatedly asked to visit Xinjiang to verify abuses against the Uyghurs. China is accused of having detained at least one million people, subjected to brainwashing to weaken their attachment to the Islamic faith, considered a "radicalization" against their will. Despite the testimony of many survivors, Beijing has always maintained that the camps are only "vocational training centers".