Uyghur volleyball coach gets 8 years in jail for ‘befriending bearded men’March 16, 2022
A national-level Uyghur volleyball coach is serving an eight-year prison sentence for “befriending bearded men,” under a deepening crackdown on Islamic practices and culture, a Uyghur living in exile and a local police officer told RFA.
Alimjan Mehmut is serving his sentence in a detention center in Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu), according to information provided by the Norway-based rights organization Uyghur Hjelp, which documents missing and imprisoned Uyghurs in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region.
His name is also on a list of Uyghur torchbearers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games who have been imprisoned in recent years, caught in a wider crackdown on the ethnic minority group.
… a local Chinese government police officer in Kashgar (Kashi) told RFA that Alimjan had been arrested for “befriending bearded men,” meaning that he had contact via cell phone or otherwise with Muslim Uyghurs deemed suspicious by authorities.