“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

Abdurishid Hoshur

阿布都热西提 · 吾守尔

Assumed Location

Prison, Urumqi

Suspected Reasons for Arrest or Detention

Ethnicity, being wealthy, sons studying abroad

Official Reason for Arrest or Detention

“Supporting terrorism”

Last Contact

November-December 2017

The last time Abdurishid spoke with his brother was in April 2013. Family members living outside of China who had contact with other family members in Xinjiang later told the brother that Abdurishid was detained in November-December 2017 and given a 17-year sentence on charges of “supporting terrorism”. Abdurishid’s brother, now living in Canada, told Amnesty International that he believes that the real reasons for Abdurishid’s imprisonment are related to the fact that he is a famous Uyghur businessman whose two children studied abroad. His daughter, currently living in Turkey, thinks that before being jailed, he was held in an internment facility for allegedly sending money to family members in Egypt. Before being detained, Abdurishid asked his daughter not to return to China when she was at university on a Turkish scholarship programme. In 2020, the Chinese authorities informed Abdurishid’s family that he had been tried. The family has no information as to whether Abdurishid was granted a fair trial and had access to a lawyer of his choice. The Chinese authorities also froze all his assets. Abdurishid’s brother does not have any official documents relating to the charges against Abdurishid, and he believes that the authorities have not shared anything with family members in Xinjiang, including not confirming the prison where Abdurishid is held.

Personal Details

Abdurishid is married, has five children and, when his father passed away, he took on the role of head of the family given he was the eldest brother in the family. Abdurishid is described by his brother as a person of high morality, well-know and well-respected by the community. He is passionate about Uyghur culture and was the co-owner of Miraj, a famous restaurant in Urumqi where traditional Uyghur dishes were served. The restaurant was closed down after his arrest and some of the staff were taken away. Abdurishid’s oldest son, Rizayidin Abdurishid, is also in a detention facility with a 15-year sentence.

Date of Birth

9 June 1958






Businessman, restaurant co-owner

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