Entry of 5393       

Erzhan Qurban (叶尔江·库尔帮)

Chinese ID: 654121197807014272 (Ghulja County)

Age: 35-55    Detention reason: unclear    Detention type: released
Gender: M    Detention time: Oct. 2017 - Dec. 2017    Health status: has problems
Ethnicity: Kazakh    Profession: manual work    Location: outside China

List(s): Eyewitness accounts, Camp releases (late 2018 / early 2019), Forced labor cases, Testimonies mentioning specific camps, Testimonies mentioning specific factories, Examples of international / media pressure on Xinjiang authorities, Victims with foreign residence, Covered in international media

Testifying party (submitted by third party)

Testimony 1+2+4+5+6: Mainur Medetbek, born on January 1, 1976. She is a Kazakh citizen. PIN: 760101002053.

Testimony 3: Hanisa Erzhan was born in 2006 in China.

Victim's relation to testifier

Testimony 1+2+4+5+6: spouse

Testimony 3: father

About the victim

Erzhan Qurbanuly (叶尔江*库尔帮) took his daughter to China for treatment on November 29, 2017 [Testimony 1 + 5]; Erzhan Qurban went to China at the end of 2017 to see his mother. [Testimony 2]; Erzhan Qurban could not come to Kazakhstan in time as he had to look after his old mother. [Testimony 3]; Erzhan Qurban, born on July 1, 1978, went to China in November 2017 to have his daughter Shugyla Erzhan (born on November 13, 1998) treated. Erzhan Qurban's Chinese ID number is 654121197807014272, passport number is G58818764, KZ green card number is 026898659. [Testimony 4]

Address in China: Yining city, Mazha township (麻扎乡), Paletewai village (帕勒特外村), Group 2.

Victim's location

Back in Kazakhstan.

When victim was detained

Testimony 2: before the Chinese Spring Festival 2018

Testimony 3: approximately in April 2018

Testimony 4: sent to the re-education camp on January 1, 2018

Testimony 5: His documents were taken when he arrived in China (November 29, 2017), with authorities saying that they would return them to him when he went back to Kazakhstan. He was taken to a camp in February 2018, before the Spring Festival.

Testimony 6: February 6, 2018

From Apple Daily report (https://uat-xinjiangcamps.appledaily.com/%E5%8F%97%E5%AE%B3%E8%80%85/%E8%91%89%E7%88%BE%E6%B1%9F/%E5%85%A8%E6%96%87): When he went back to China in September 2016, his passport was confiscated. He lived under virtual house arrest with his sickly mother until one night in April 2017, when he received a call from the police, who said they were coming to arrest him. After five minutes, 6 policeman broke into his house and took him. His mother saw everything. He was taken to a detention center and then a re-education camp. However, after two weeks, he was released. The second time he was arrested, he was sent to a camp which had formerly been the Yining County 3rd Middle School. In September 2018, he was transferred to a more “official” camp with better conditions, which included toilets in the rooms. Though he didn’t get beaten in the camps, his health has deteriorated in the camp and he has lost sexual potency. Erzhan believes something was put into the prisoners’ daily rations.

Probable (or official) reason for detention


Victim's status

Testimonies 1-3 have reported him as being in the re-education camp.
Testimony 4 provides new information: He was released from camp on November 3, 2018. However he was sent to a factory on November 8, 2018. Now he is working there for a monthly salary of 600 RMB. He can visit his home once a week (every Saturday). His daughter, Shugyla, who has serious problems with her eyes, now lives in China as she had her passport seized.
In Testimony 5, Mainur says that he stayed at home for 10 days after being released from camp before being sent to a factory on November 12. She also specifies that her husband is basically shuttled home by bus once a week. The factory is the Jiafang textile (glove) factory.

According to the RTS story (https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/10372597-rescapes-de-camps-de-reeducation-chinois-au-xinjiang-ils-temoignent.html), he has now returned to Kazakhstan.

From Apple Daily report (https://uat-xinjiangcamps.appledaily.com/%E5%8F%97%E5%AE%B3%E8%80%85/%E8%91%89%E7%88%BE%E6%B1%9F/%E5%85%A8%E6%96%87): Though he didn’t get beaten in the camps, his health has deteriorated in the camp and he has lost sexual potency. Erzhan believes something was put into the prisoners’ daily rations.

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

through relatives in Xinjiang [AP News story]
he called his wife directly after being released from the camp [Testimony 5]

Additional information

Erzhan Qurbanuly was also mentioned, albeit anonymously, in the AP News story about the forced labor in Xinjiang (https://www.apnews.com/e7c9af9654fa43ad958b2dc54895d42e):

"Mainur Medetbek’s husband did odd repair jobs before vanishing into a camp in February during a visit to China from their home in Kazakhstan. She has been able to glean a sense of his conditions from monitored exchanges with relatives and from the husband of a woman in the same camp. He works in an apparel factory and is allowed to leave and spend the night with relatives every other Saturday.

Though Medetbek is uncertain how much her husband makes, the woman in his camp earns 600 yuan (about $87) a month, less than half the local minimum wage and far less than what Medetbek’s husband used to earn.

“They say it’s a factory, but it’s an excuse for detention. They don’t have freedom, there’s no time for him to talk with me,” she said. “They say they found a job for him. I think it’s a concentration camp.”"


His firsthand account from the interview to the German paper "Die Zeit", translated into English by a shahit.biz volunteer (https://www.zeit.de/2019/32/zwangslager-xinjiang-muslime-china-zeugen-menschenrechte):

"In the evening of February 8, 2018 they picked me up in a minibus. The re-education camp is located in Yining county near the Chinese-Kazakh border, I am not sure where exactly. It was already dark and they put black plastic sacs over our heads and handcuffs on our hands. There were five young men from my village with me on the minibus. We were taken into a building and once inside they took the sacs off our heads. The room in which I had to stay for the next nine months was 5 meters by 5 meters and located on the third floor. On the door, a sign said "No. 12". Our floor alone accommodated 260 men. In my room we were twelve. Later I heard that there had been more than 10000 men detained in our camp.

The toilet was a bucket by the window, there was no running water. In the daytime, we were sitting in rows on our plastic chairs. The food was handed to us through an opening in the door. At 7am, we had to sing the Chinese national anthem and then we had three minutes for breakfast. Afterwards, we learned Chinese until 9pm. Our teachers were Kazakhs or Uyghurs. We were watched by four cameras in our room which ensured that we didn't talk to each other. Those who spoke anyways were handcuffed and had to stand by the wall. "You don't have the right to talk, because you are not humans", said the guards, "If you were humans, you wouldn't be here."

I am just a normal farmer and I have never broken the law. Until today, I don't know why I was in a camp. The first two months, I thought of my wife Maynur and my three children. Some time later, I only thought about food. After nine months, on November 3, 2018, I was released. They sent me to a factory which produced leather and fleece gloves. I worked on a production line for 53 days, earning 300 Yuan (36 Euro) in total. In the meantime, my wife had applied for a Kazakh passport for herself and the children. In Almaty she told the Kazakh government and human rights activists about my case. On January 20, 2019, I was given my papers back. One day later, I was able to leave China for Kazakhstan."

Supplementary materials

Testimony 1
Testimony 2
Testimony 3
Testimony 4
Testimony 6
Testimony 5
Kazakhstan ID
Chinese ID
marriage certificate
photo (RTS)

Entry created: 2018-10-17

Last updated: 2019-10-19

Latest update from testifier: 2019-08-22