Young Uyghur Tour Director Dies Under Questioning by Xinjiang Authorities: MotherJune 24, 2019
A young Uyghur woman who worked as the deputy director of a tourist agency in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has died while being questioned in official custody, according to a recording of her mother that was secreted out of the country by members of the Uyghur exile community. Authorities in the region had targeted the young woman after she returned from a work trip to Dubai, a country blacklisted by authorities for travel by Uyghurs due to the perceived threat of religious extremism, her mother said. Yasin said the authorities claimed her daughter had a medical condition, and because she was so weak, she was “unable to cope with being questioned.”
“They forcibly took my hand and made me sign some documents,” she said, adding that she was also made to provide fingerprints before receiving a death certificate from the hospital.
Despite Eli’s achievements in her studies, the certificate said that she was a “farmer” who “had never been to school,” and claimed she suffered from four different heart conditions, including arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy, Yasin said. “They washed her and took her away for burial while we were locked up in a room and prevented from entering the courtyard. The cadres and police controlled everything. I learned later that they didn’t allow people to enter the house … They only allowed three or four people to attend the burial, while the rest were officials.”