In yet another distressing incident amid the ongoing Uyghur persecution in China, an elderly Uyghur man, Abdurusul Memet, aged 71, has tragically died while serving a nearly 14-year prison sentence in Xinjiang. His imprisonment dates back to 2017 when he was arrested for studying religion as a child.
The harrowing details of Memet’s case came to light through the Xinjiang Victims Database, a platform dedicated to collecting records of Uyghurs and other Turkic minority peoples detained in Xinjiang. According to the report by rfa, database shows that Memet was sentenced to 13 years and 11 months in prison for learning the Quran from his father during a period between November 1964 and March 1965.
Memet’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment were due to “illegal religious activities” that he engaged in during his childhood. These activities included praying namaz, having a beard, and studying the Quran when he was just 12 years old.
As Radio Free Asia delved into Memet’s case, they discovered that the Uyghur man died after he had been incarcerated in a prison in the regional capital, Urumqi. A police officer in Kashgar county confirmed the tragic news of Memet’s death in mid-July while serving his sentence. The cause of death was reported as hypertension, even though Memet had been in good health before his detention. Following his passing, authorities returned his body to his family.
The case of Abdurusul Memet serves as a stark reminder of the grave human rights violations faced by Uyghurs in Xinjiang. It underscores the ongoing concerns regarding arbitrary detentions, religious restrictions, and reported abuses against this ethnic minority group.