Today is International Day of the disappeared. Being disappeared is more than a human rights violation against an individual. It is used as a strategy to spread terror within society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice extends to the relatives and loved ones of the disappeared, as well as their communities and society as a whole.
It has been four years since China launched an unprecedented campaign of mass detention of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. This has taken place in Xinjiang – the Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China.
Uyghurs overseas often hesitate to publicly talk about human rights abuses against them and their relatives, due to fear of repercussions for their relatives back in China. The Chinese government originally denied the existence of these detention camps. Later, it began claiming that the facilities were “vocational training” centres to help rid Uyghurs and others of their “extremist” thoughts and provide them with “job training”.
The Chinese government has steadfastly resisted calls to admit independent monitors into the region, allowing only carefully stage-managed tours for select journalists and diplomats. Meanwhile, friends and relatives of people believed to be detained remain cut off from information and unsure where their loved ones are. Many of the disappeared have connections to Australia. Today, we take action for them
Take action for Mirzat, an Australian permanent resident
Take action for Mamutjan, who lives in Australia separated from his family
Mamutjan is a Uyghur man living in Australia. He was studying for his doctoral degree in Malaysia before his life became a recurring nightmare. In 2015 his wife Muherrem and two children returned to China to renew Muherrem’s passport. They did not know that China was about to launch an unprecedented crackdown in Xinjiang that would have a horrific impact on the lives of what is estimated to be thousands of parents just like them. n his wife or children since. Take action for Mamutjan, and other Uyghur parents separated from their families now.
Take action for Buzainafu, who was sentenced to prison in a secret trial
Uyghur woman Buzainafu Abudourexiti has been sentenced to seven years in prison in a secret trial, and is unable to talk to her family, including her Australian husband Almas. Chinese police took Buzainafu from her parents’ home in Xinjiang, China in March 2017. She was sentenced to seven years in prison in June 2017 on charges of ‘assembling a crowd to disturb social order.’ At the time of her arrest, Buzainafu was about to join her husband Almas in Australia, where they could begin their lives together. Almas has not heard from Buzainafu since the police took her from her parents’ home. Take action, by adding your name now.
Take action for Mahira, whose parents in Australia fear for her safety
The authorities detained Mahira in April 2019, and have since accused her of “giving material support to terrorist activity” for transferring money to her parents. According to her sister, the money was transferred in 2013 to help her parents buy a house. Mahira’s parents and sister live in Australia. Family and friends have grave concerns for her wellbeing, especially as she suffered from liver damage during a previous detention. Mahira is being held without any legal representation, nor evidence for the ‘crime’ she’s accused of. Take action for her now.