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Testifying party

J. Bagdonas, database volunteer

Relation to victim

N/A

About the victim

Oreyetgul Abla, resident of Urumqi and mother of four. Her husband Ablimit Tursun has fled China after his brother's detention in 2017 and has been living in Belgium. He was trying to arrange for a Belgian family reunification visa for his wife and four children. The application included a letter describing the family's situation as critical and in need of discreetness. Oreyetgul and the family flew to Beijing twice; the second time on May 26, 2019, to hand in the last documents. In the hotel, the police broke their door, interrogated them and asked them to go back to Urumqi immediately. The next day, Belgian embassy officials informed Oreyetgul that the application could take up to three months to process, which prompted her to refuse to leave the embassy grounds on suspicion that she might get detained. The security forced them out into the yard, where they stayed until 2AM in the night when the embassy called the Chinese police and asked to remove the family. They were then interrogated by Xinjiang police in Beijing and refused to travel back to Urumqi, so they were put under house arrest in the hotel. The next day, the Xinjiang police forcefully entered their room and dragged them into a car. There has been no news of them since that day.

Victim's location

Unknown, likely taken back to Xinjiang

When victim was detained

End of May 2019

Reason given for detention

Applying for a foreign visa

Victim's status

In detention

How did the testifier learn about the victim's status?

Foreign Policy's article, based on the testimony of Ablimit Tursun: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/06/14/belgiums-beijing-embassy-calls-chinese-cops-on-uighur-family/

Additional information

Friends have informed Ablimit that the local police had interrogated all his relatives in Turpan and Urumqi, had searched his home, and had taken away the family’s electronic devices.