18 July 2022
The key points of the article:
In a network of high-security prison camps China has established across its vast western province of Xinjiang, more than 1 million Muslims, including ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of Xinjiang’s other indigenous ethnic groups, are believed to have been detained without being given a chance to defend themselves.
Zhazira Asenqyzy was one of them. She was well-known as a poet and writer in her hometown of Jeminay in China’s northwest Xinjiang region, as well as a successful businesswoman.
Asenqyzy had three successful businesses, including one that manufactured furniture and employed numerous people.
However, her entire world turned upside down when she was taken from her family’s house by Chinese policemen early one May 2017 morning and placed in one of Xinjiang’s infamous internment camps.
Asenqyzy was moved to a jail cell that same day without anyone explaining her detention or when if ever, she would be released. She was not subjected to a trial and was not charged.
Asenqyzy, who is now 46 years old, remembers being held at a women’s camp with prisoners who were some of their age (in their 70s and 80s).
Many prisoners fell ill, but they were frequently denied medical care. According to her, prison guards punished inmates who reported feeling sick and requested assistance.
Asenqyzy saw how inmates were beaten severely just for conversing with one another because the guards suspected they were “plotting something.”