“Like we were enemies in a war”

China’s Mass Internment, Torture and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang

“Like we were enemies in a war” China’s Mass Internment, Torture and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang

Illustrations by Molly Crabapple

Akber Hushur

艾克白尔 · 吾舒尔

Assumed Location

Prison, near Urumqi

Suspected Reasons for Arrest or Detention

Violation of birth control policy

Official Reason for Arrest or Detention

Unknown

Last Contact

May 2017

Akber was taken away in May 2017 while he was working in his bakery shop and later sent to prison. Akber’s uncle, who Amnesty International interviewed from his current residence in France, only found out about Akber’s detention and his 17-year prison sentence in December 2017, when he was told about it by family members still living in Xinjiang. They also told him that Akber was able to send a letter to his wife from prison in September 2017 in which he asked her to take care of their children and not to worry about him. Akber’s uncle has lost connection with the family in Xinjiang since 2019 and has thus been unable to gather any further information on Akber’s situation. He believes Akber is being detained solely for being self-employed as this is considered “dangerous”, and for violating China’s birth control policy, despite having already paid a fine imposed by the Chinese authorities in 2015.

Personal Details

His uncle remembers Akber as very religious. “He never missed a prayer,” he added.
Akber is married and has three daughters and one son. According to the last information that Abker’s uncle has from December 2019, Akber’s wife was sent to an internment camp in November 2017, later released and sent in January 2019 to work for a textile company far from where their children live, and only allowed to return home once every 50 days.
Unfortunately, the brother of Akber’s uncle, Mamat Ablat, is also in prison with a 16–17-year sentence.

Date of Birth

1982

Ethnicity

Uyghur

Hometown

Onsu county (Wensu)

Profession

Baker

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