Kazakh Chinese who fled Xinjiang camp doesn’t want to go back to be tortured

Gulzire Awulqanqizi documented Chinese repression in camps for Muslims. For China, the latter are dangerous terrorists, and for this reason, Beijing detained at least a million. During her detention, the refugee was forced to make gloves and eat pork in violation of her Islamic beliefs.


Nur-Sultan (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Gulzire Awulqanqizi, an ethnic Kazakh Chinese national currently living in Kazakhstan does not want to be sent back home where she is likely to face persecution, detention, and even torture.

Recently, she posted a video complaining that Kazakh authorities plan to deport her to China, under pressure from Beijing.

Awulqanqizi was held in the Dongmehle Internment Camp in Ili Kazakh (in Chinese, Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture’s Ghulja (Yining) City, in Xinjiang, north-western China, from July 2017 to October 2018. She fled to Kazakhstan in December 2018.

In the last three months of detention, she says she was forced to work in a glove factory inside the camp. She and other detainees were also forced to eat pork against Muslim tradition.

In the video posted on social media she says that a source whose name she declined to give told her that her name appears on a list of people to be deported to China.

She has not received any official notification from Kazakh authorities about a possible deportation; however, “It’s possible that they’ll send me back to China after the start of 2020,” she explained.

An official named Guljan said that Awulqanqizi’s concerns are valid because of the attention she has brought to the camps in Xinjiang. In fact, she was one of the first people to reveal a lot of details about the camps to the international media.

She has a Kazakh green card and has applied for Kazakh citizenship but to no avail so far.

In Xinjiang, Kazakhs are the second largest Muslim ethnic group after the Uyghurs. There are also other Muslim groups, namely Kyrghyz, Tajiks and Hui.

Beijing accuses them of separatism and terrorism, and has imposed a harsh military control.

The United Nations has repeatedly asked to visit Xinjiang to verify claims of abuse against detainees, in particular Uyghurs.

China has been accused of detaining at least a million of them against their will, and of brainwashing them in order to weaken their attachment to Islam, which Beijing considers a form of radicalism.

Despite stories by camp survivors, China’s Communist Party maintains that detention facilities are nothing more than professional training centres.