Uyghur parents who went abroad for work or study have often not seen or spoken to their children for years. Many children are held in ‘orphanages’ of the Chinese state. Some children are only a few years old, says Amnesty International in a new report.
The organization spoke to parents who have lost contact with their children, who in some cases are only a few years old.
“China’s relentless mass detention campaign in Xinjiang has put separated families in an impossible situation. Children are not allowed to leave the country, while their parents face persecution and arbitrary detention when they return home to take care of their children,” says Alkan Akad of Amnesty International.
According to Akad, the stories parents tell are heartbreaking. According to him, this is only “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of the suffering of the Uyghur families separated from their children. “The Chinese authorities must put an end to their heartless policy in Xinjiang. They must ensure that these families can be reunited as soon as possible, without fear of being sent to a camp.”
Amnesty interviewed six Uyghur families, who live in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Italy and Turkey. They left China before 2017, when the Chinese authorities intensified the repression of the Uighurs and other Muslims.