GT reporters’ visits unveil facts about Xinjiang

By Liu Xin and Fan Lingzhi in Yining, Xinjiang Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/17 23:03:39 Last Updated: 2019/11/18 19:43:32

Residents in Urumqi, regional capital city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 3. Photo: VCG

The People's government of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region released a statement on November 9 refuting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks,claiming that relatives of so-called Uyghur activists have been detained.

Pompeo issued a statement on November 5, titled "Harassment of the Family Members of Uighur Activists and Survivors in Xinjiang, China," claiming that family members of the so-called activists Furkhat Jawdat, Alapat Arkin, Zumrat Dawut have been subject to harassment, imprisonment and arbitrary detention.

What Pompeo stated "is simply not the case," an official English-language statement from a spokesperson of the people's government of Xinjiang said recently. The relatives of those mentioned live and work normally in Xinjiang, and "they are ashamed of the scum among their families," it read.

Global Times reporters visited the relatives of Furkhat Jawdat, Alapat Arkin and Zumrat Dawut in Urumqi, the regional capital city of Xinjiang, and in Yining and discovered that what Pompeo said is not consistent with the truth. No family members of the three people have been mistreated and they lead a normal life and are in receipt of much assistance from their residential communities.

No more lies 

Zumrat attracted Pompeo's attention over  accusations she made against China's policies in Xinjiang after she left the country. Global Times reporters learned from Xinjiang authorities that 37-year-old Zumrat lived in Urumqi before going abroad.

The November 5 statement was not the first time Pompeo mentioned Zumrat. On October 2, Pompeo said in a meeting at the Vatican that he had listened to Zumrat's story and learned that she was summoned to the public security bureau in Xinjiang in April and was sent to a "concentration camp." A report in the Chicago Tribune on September 28 claimed that Zumrat was forcefully sterilized. 

Abduhelil Dawut, one of Zumrat's brothers, told the Global Times his sister has never been to a vocational education and training center and that "when she delivered her third child, she was found to have fibroids and later had surgery."

Their father died of heart disease in October. In a video call with his sister, Abduhelil said he had "told her to stop spreading rumors and retract the lies she peddled online previously. She cried and said yes. But later, she continued peddling lies online."

Pompeo claimed that Zumrat's "father, who was reportedly detained and interrogated multiple times by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang in recent years, recently passed away under unknown circumstances." 

However, Abduhelil told the Global Times that his father lived a normal life with them, and had neither been "interrogated nor detained." 

Erkin Dawuti is another of Zumat's elder brothers. He was the one to sign his father's death certificate. He thinks his father's health worsened partly because he missed Zumrat very much.

In 2018, Zumrat, her husband and their three children went to Pakistan and never came back. She finally went to the US without informing the rest of the family, including her father. 

Not to be manipulated

Pompeo also mentioned Furkhat Jawdat and Alapat Arkin, claiming that Alapat's mother had been detained in a "concentration camp" since 2017 and that his father was imprisoned in 2018. 

After meeting with Pompeo on March 26, 2019, Furkhat Jawdat claimed his mother was moved to a prison from a vocational education and training center.

Global Times reporters learned from authorities in Xinjiang that Alapat and Furkhat were born in Yining, about 600 kilometers northwest to Urumqi, Alapat went to the US in 2015 and then joined the infamous violent terrorist and separatist organization the "World Uyghur Congress." Furkhat went to the US in 2011 and later became a member of the "World Uyghur Congress." 

The Global Times reporters also met Alapat's mother, Gulnar Talat, who currently lives with Alapat's grandmother in Yining. Gulnar Talat told the Global Times that she lives a normal life and is not under detention. She said she wants to tell Alapat that "you should not be influenced by others or take part in something bad. You should not be manipulated by others."

"Do not believe those who have ulterior motives. We live a good life. You were born and grew up in China. Thanks to the development of the country, you have the opportunity to study overseas. We hope you can study hard in the US and come back and contribute to the country." 

Pompeo also mentioned Furhkat's mother in his November 5 statement. 

Munawar Tursun, the mother, told the Global Times that she talks to her son almost every day. Munawar told the Global Times that she tried to persuade Furkhat not to get involved in any illegal activities. "I told him, if he wants me to go abroad, it must be via legal means and that he must not engage in illegal activities." Munawar believes Rebiya Kadeer, a separatist from Xinjiang, is a degenerate among Uyghurs.

Separatists from Xinjiang share a common interest in hyping Xinjiang issues. "Detention" or "oppression" are words usually mentioned by them, analysts said.

However, family members of these so-called Uyghur activists are taken good care of by local residential communities. 

Alapat's mother Gulnar Talat said that she was in hospital in Urumqi due to a back problem. Colleagues and the head of the kindergarten where Gulnar works visited her and donated 2,000 yuan ($285) toward her treatment.
Newspaper headline: Pompeo claims slammed

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