Voices from Xinjiang: Untold Stories from China’s Gulag State

These stories originally published on believermag.com were recorded in Almaty by Ben Mauk, a travel writer and journalist based in Berlin, in collaboration with the Atajurt volunteer-run human rights group. In 2018, Ben began to travel to Kazakhstan to interview the family members of Xinjiang’s prisoners and disappeared. He also interviewed former detainees who described their …

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Statement by Secretary Michael Pompeo On China’s Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang

Press Statement Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State June 29, 2020 The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression. German researcher Adrian Zenz’s shocking revelations are sadly …

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Surviving human trafficking. A survivor of human trafficking wants young people to learn from her experience.

Razia (name changed to protect her identity) crouched behind the bushes along a highway in Kazakhstan, hiding every time a car passed by. She was determined to escape, fearful that her “owner” was chasing her and that she might have to return to the meaningless existence she had been trapped in for months. “I was …

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Voices from Xinjiang: They simply said it was the wrong thing to do, to go to Kazakhstan and have a child

Bikamal has three children. The youngest two are in the room with us, crawling over everything. In China, my husband was working at the Karamay oil fields. He’s a steam worker, generating steam for the oil pumps. When he retired, we moved to Kazakhstan with our two children. Then my daughter was born here, in …

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Voices From Xinjiang: Eating with the students and sleeping in the classrooms at night

ZHEMISGUL: I’m a hairdresser in Taldy-Kurgan. Makeup, hair, skincare. SUNGKAR: I’m in college in Almaty. I’m a philosophy student. But I was still a schoolboy when our parents went to China. It was March 2017. I was in eleventh grade. Our family had some land that had been given to us by the government. My parents farmed …

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It was in some mountainous place

Zharkynbek was in a camp for eight months. His escape still seems to surprise him. “I thought they were going to dangle my freedom in front of me forever,” he says. It was in some mountainous place. We drove out in a windowless van with a metal grate inside. I couldn’t see anything. Before, at …

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He is a loner, shy and modest (Voices from Xinjiang)

Yerzat is an artist. He paints saturated landscapes of mountains and yurt-dotted meadows peopled by the nomadic warriors of centuries past. The village of his birth lies in the northernmost corner of Xinjiang, near the mountains that cross into modern-day Mongolia and Russia. There was no reason. You have to understand—none. My brother never committed …

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Voices from Xinjiang: Only then did we start to live decently

One wall of Atajurt’s office is covered with photographs of the known missing: hundreds of faces, maybe a thousand. Khalida, a small, persistent woman in her sixties, pulls me over to a corner to show me her family members. “Here,” she says. “And here, and here, and here, and here…” A small hamlet called Karagash is …

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Ambassador Moser in Recognition of International Human Rights Day

In today’s splintered world, it would be easy to think that there is nothing upon which all nations can agree and all cultures can embrace as an integral part of their communities.  But International Human Rights Day, celebrated on December 10, reminds us that it wasn’t so long ago that the world came together to …

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KAZAKHSTAN 2016 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT

KAZAKHSTAN 2016 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT Executive Summary The constitution defines the country as a secular state and provides for freedom of religion. In September the government created a new Ministry of Religious and Civil Society Affairs (MRCSA), taking responsibility for religious issues and the Committee for Religious Affairs (CRA) from the Ministry of Culture …

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Conviction of Kazakhstani Civil Society Activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan

STATEMENT BY THE U.S. DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN KAZAKHSTAN Conviction of Kazakhstani Civil Society Activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan The decision of the Kazakhstani regional court in Atyrau to convict and sentence Kazakhstani citizens Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan to five years in prison each for their alleged roles in organizing peaceful demonstrations in the …

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