“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

Abdushukur Abliz

阿布都许库尔 · 阿布力孜

Assumed Location


Suspected Reasons for Arrest or Detention

Family members living and travelling abroad, nature of his work

Official Reason for Arrest or Detention


Last Contact


According to the great-nephew interviewed by Amnesty International and who now lives in the USA, Abdushukur – also known as Abdushukur Hajim – was detained in 2017 and has likely been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Through a reliable source, Abdushukur’s great-nephew discovered that his great-uncle was convicted in a trial in January 2021, presumably accused of being one of the masterminds behind the incident in Ghulja, in 1997, and the riots in Urumqi, in July 2009. During the interview, he also added that the Chinese authorities have shared no official documentation or proof of evidence for the charges with the family. Abdushukur was arrested and sent to prison once before, from 1998 to 2007.
The family is worried about Abdushukur’s health, because he suffers from various health problems since his first arrest in 1997, and underwent surgery just before being detained again in 2017.
His great-nephew believes that Abdushukur was arrested because of his work and because he had family members who travelled and lived abroad.

Personal Details

Abdushukur is a former religious government official, having been the president of an Islamic religious association in Guljia city, back in the 1990s. He later became a businessman in the import-export sector. He likes poetry, used to write poems, and knows many languages. According to his great nephew, Abdushukur is married and has a daughter and a son. The son, Halit Abdushukur, is also believed to be detained.

Date of Birth





Ghulja (Yining) city


Import-export businessman, former religious government official

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