Local: China does not let Uyghurs cross Xinjiang’s borders

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Jamal, an Uyghur man, said in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) that the Chinese policy on passports in Xinjiang is to not let anyone cross borders and to keep everyone intact inside the region, Switzerland-based Geneva Daily reported.

Jamal in the interview made it clear that China does not issue new passports to the Uyghurs. Uyghurs do not speak to the media even after leaving China due to the fear of retaliation by Chinese authorities, he said.

According to Jamal, the Chinese authorities were pressurised into returning his passport as his wife is a foreigner.

He said that any Uyghur passport holder needs to be able to present a consent document from the provincial authorities at any customs post in China.

“If an Uyghur person has a valid Chinese passport and a visa to go to a certain country but doesn’t have that government consent document, customs won’t let them cross the border,” he told VOA, The Geneva Daily reported.

On presenting a Chinese ID, passport and consent document to the customs officers, an Uyghur is taken to a specially designated place for Uyghurs. His/her documents are then authenticated by the police authorities, he said.

According to The Geneva Daily, Tomomi Shimizu provides a far more graphic and illustrative insight into the lives of Uyghurs.

Tomomi Shimizu, a famous writer and illustrator in Japan, has produced a new manga booklet depicting the experiences of an ethnic Uzbek woman forced to teach Mandarin to Uyghur detainees in ‘re-education’ camps in China’s Xinjiang region, US-based non-profit news service, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

Shimizu has portrayed the experiences of female survivors of Xinjiang’s detention camps. The vast network of detention camps are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities.

Shimizu’s latest work focuses on Qelbinur Sidiq, 53, also known as Kalbinur Sidik, who taught Mandarin Chinese at an elementary school in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi for nearly three decades.

Sidiq was in 2017, forced by Chinese authorities to teach Mandarin in Xinjiang’s “re-education” camp system.

As a result of the government campaign to suppress the birth rates of Muslim women in Xinjiang, Sidiq also underwent forced abortion and sterilization, according to RFA.

Shimizu released her latest work in December 2022 based on the testimony given by Sidiq at an independent people’s tribunal in London in 2021.

Sidif experienced torture and rape at the two detention camps in Xinjiang. She testified about the same in June 2021. Her statements contradicted Beijing’s claims that the facilities were voluntary “vocational centres” where “students” were treated humanely.