“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

Parizat Abdugul

Assumed Location


Suspected Reasons for Arrest or Detention

Religious practices

Official Reason for Arrest or Detention

“Involved in terrorist activities”

Last Contact

May-June 2016

The last time Parizat spoke with her son-in-law, who now lives in Turkey, was before March 2016, over a video call. During that call she sounded fine but also worried because “things were getting worse for Uyghurs in Xinjiang.” According to the son-in-law Amnesty International interviewed, her house was one of those that were searched at nights.
Between May and June 2016, through some connections in her hometown, Parizat’s son-in-law discovered that Parizat was sent to prison. Through them and a video posted on social media by a news channel based in Bejing, he later found out that she was accused of being “involved in terrorist activities”. However, Parizat’s son-in-law believes that the real reason for her arrest is related to her religious practices. He added: “It’s impossible. She’s a single widow woman who stayed at home most of the time, she has very few friends. How could she become a terrorist? I never imagined they [the Chinese authorities] can say she committed such a crime.”
Afterwards, Parizat’s son-in-law tried unsuccessfully to gather more information about her arrest through family members and friends in Xinjiang. None of his requests for information submitted to the Chinese authorities have received a response.

Personal Details

Parizat is a housewife from Turpan city. She is described by her son-in-law as a very shy person, with very few friends, who spent most her time at home.
It is believed that a brother of Parizat’s son-in-law, Parhat Rasul, is also in prison serving a 9-year sentence.

Date of Birth

13 November 1965




Turpan city



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