Village crackdown on ‘illegal religious activities’ nets dozens of Uyghurs

April 28, 2017

By Shohret Hoshur | Radio Free Asia

Dozens of ethnic Uyghurs from a small village in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region, including several sets of siblings, have been swept up in a recent crackdown on “illegal religious activities” after they attended lectures by unsanctioned imams, according to local officials.

At least 52 Uyghurs in Tomosteng township’s No. 2 village, in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Yarkand (Shache) county, have been arrested under related charges, the 140-household village’s party secretary Ablet Hekim told RFA’s Uyghur Service in an interview earlier this week.

Of those arrests, 39 were the result of a “recent” sweep by local authorities, Hekim said, adding that 35 are now in jail and the remaining four—all of whom are “unofficial imams” that the state does not recognize—have been sent for “political reeducation.”

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