China confirms death of Uighur man whose family says was held in Xinjiang camps

China confirms death of Uighur man whose family says was held in Xinjiang camps

The Chinese government has taken the rare step of formally confirming to the UN the death of a Uighur man whose family believe had been held in a Xinjiang internment camp since 2017.

More than one million people from the Uighur and Turkic Muslim communities in the far western region of Xinjiang are believed to have been detained in camps since 2017, under a crackdown on ethnic minorities which experts say amounts to cultural genocide. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has repeatedly refused requests by international bodies to independently visit and investigate the region, despite growing international backlash.China cables reveal 23 Australian citizens ‘red-flagged’ in Uighur crackdownRead more

Abdulghafur Hapiz’s disappearance was registered with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in April 2019, but the Chinese government didn’t respond to formal inquiries until this month. When it did respond, in a document seen by the Guardian, it told WGEID that the retired driver from Kashgar had died almost two years ago, on 3 November, 2018 of “severe pneumonia and tuberculosis”.

“I don’t believe it,” his daughter, Fatimah Abdulghafur, told the Guardian. “If he died of anything it would have been diabetes.”

“I know my father’s health and I’ve been talking about his health issues. He had a (tuberculosis) shot.”