Chinese atrocities: Missing Uyghur doctor found detained in Xinjiang
Beijing: A Uyghur doctor, who was associated with a hospital in the capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), was detained in an internment camp in 2017, media reports said.
He went missing that year.
Sayarra Nijat, a doctor who had worked at the Urumqi Friendship Hospital for three years following her graduation from medical school, was detained in May 2017, reports Radio Free Asia.
On Sept. 17 of that year, her parents, who live in Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining)—the seat of Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture and the XUAR’s third largest city—received a notification that she was being held in the No. 3 Detention Center in Urumqi, relatives living abroad recently learned, the news portal reported.
Rahi Haji, one of Sayarra Nijat’s relatives who now lives in the U.S., told RFA’s Uyghur Service that her parents had been too afraid to share the news with family members living abroad.
“She disappeared on May 17, 2017 … They came in [to her home] and said they had something to talk about with her, and they took her away.”
“I have a female relative in Australia who heard the news and shared it with me ... [Her parents] can’t just pick up the phone to get information about her. We don’t know anything about her case at this point.”
Haji said Sayarra Nijat’s parents were both detained shortly after her arrest but have since been released—her mother after several months and her father after a year and a half.
Sayarra’s older sister Nadira Nijat, who currently lives in Turkey, told RFA that their parents received the notice of her sister’s detention from the Urumqi Tengritagh (Tianshan) District Police Bureau four months after she went missing. The written notice reportedly stated that Sayarra had been “in possession of illegal materials related to terrorism and extremism,” and thus was being held on suspicion of criminal activity.
“And so, my parents took this paper notice and went to the work unit that had issued it to inquire [about my sister], but they were unable to get any response,” she said. “[The staffers] said, ‘We don’t know this person, this Sayarra Nijat. We don’t know.’ So, we haven’t been able to get any information from anywhere.”
Who are Uyghur Muslims?
Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.
The Uyghurs are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.