Sun, 01 Aug 2021

Almaty [Kazakhstan], July 3 (ANI): Kazakh police on Thursday detained several activists who were involved in ongoing pickets in front of the Chinese Consulate to demand the release of their relatives held in China's Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region in Almaty.

Baqyt Sembai, the wife of one of the protesters, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) that police arrested her husband and his mother while they were at home on July 1.

Baibolat Kunbolat, Sembai's husband, had been released from jail two days earlier after being detained for filming a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy.

He was sentenced to 15 days in jail after a court in Almaty found him guilty of "organizing an unsanctioned rally." A court reduced his sentence by half after dozens of people protested his imprisonment, reported RFE/RL.

Nurgul Ibraeva, the wife of the leader of the Real Volunteers of the Fatherland group, Bekzat Maqsutkhan, told RFE/RL that police also detained her husband on July 1.

Maqsutkhan's group has been actively raising the issue of the plight faced by ethnic Kazakhs in Xinjiang for years.

Last week, several women were fined for their participation in the picketing of the Chinese Consulate in Almaty, reported RFE/RL.

In recent years, many similar protests have taken place in Kazakhstan, with demonstrators demanding Kazakh authorities officially intervene in the situation faced by ethnic Kazakhs in Xinjiang.

The US State Department has said that as many as two million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of Xinjiang's other indigenous, mostly Muslim ethnic groups have been taken to detention centers.

China denies that the facilities are internment camps, but people who have fled the province say people from the groups are undergoing "political indoctrination" at a network of facilities known officially as re-education camps.

Kazakhs are the second-largest Turkic-speaking indigenous community in Xinjiang after Uyghurs. The region is also home to ethnic Kyrgyz, Tajiks, and Hui, also known as Dungans. Han, China's largest ethnicity, is the second-largest community in Xinjiang.

Meanwhile, China's persecution of Uyghurs overseas has spread to nearly 30 countries around the world, largely because the governments of these host countries fear Beijing's power and influence, claims a new report.

At least 28 countries across the world are complicit in China's harassment and intimidation of Uyghurs, with countries in the Middle East and North Africa the worst offenders, reported Voice of America (VOA), citing a report compiled jointly by rights group Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs and the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Titled 'No Space Left to Run, China's Transnational Repression of Uyghurs', it argues that Beijing uses a number of methods to intimidate Uyghurs living in other countries, including everything from the use of spyware and hacking, to releasing red notices against targeted individuals through Interpol. (ANI)

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