Two brothers of Uyghur in exile detained for calling ‘separatist’ sibling abroadNovember 03, 2021
The brothers of a Uyghur based in the Netherlands have been arrested by authorities in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region for contacting a sibling abroad deemed a “terrorist” during officially sanctioned phone calls, officials confirmed to RFA.
Ghopur Ebey, 46, left his family in Baytoqay village of Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining) city in 2009 and moved to the town of Alkmaar in the Netherlands.
Ghopur told RFA in September that two of his brothers, Ehtem and Shakir Ebey, were taken away after they talked to him using a phone provided by local authorities who gave them permission to call Ghopur abroad.
A third brother, Shukur Ebey, was arrested in 2017 and detained for two years in an internment camp after he took a group trip to Turkey, though he had received permission from officials to travel to the country, which is considered a safe haven for persecuted Muslim Uyghurs and a defender of their rights.
When RFA contacted village officials to confirm the identities of Ghopur’s brothers and ask why they were apprehended, a judicial office employee responded, “They are Ehtem Ebey and Shakir Ebey.” Authorities arrested them for talking to Ghopur in the Netherlands, he said.
When asked why authorities allowed Ghopur’s family members to call him abroad but then punished them for doing so, the official said he could not answer further questions and suggested that RFA obtain additional information from the Communist Party command headquarters.
But when RFA contacted that office, officials there declined to comment.