Entry of 5393       

Gulbahar Jelilova

Chinese ID: n/a (outside China)

Age: 55+    Detention reason: "terrorism"    Detention type: released
Gender: F    Detention time: Apr. 2017 - June 2017    Health status: unclear
Ethnicity: Uyghur    Profession: private business    Location: outside China

List(s): Eyewitness accounts, Testimonies mentioning specific police detention centers, Foreign citizens, Victims with foreign residence, Covered in international media

Testifying party


Victim's relation to testifier

information publicly available

About the victim

name: Gulbahar Jelilova
gender: female
ethnicity: Uyghur
place of origin: Kazakhstan
occupation: businesswoman
DOB: April 4, 1964
Kazakhstan passport number: N09879874

Gulbahar Jelilova is an ethnic Uyghur from Kazakhstan, currently living in Turkey.
She had to spend a total of 15 months in detention centers around Urumqi after coming from Kazakhstan and being arrested in May 2017. Based on the dates and time periods given by ABC News, she was released in September or October 2018. She says she was released because of the lobbying efforts by her family.

Victim's location

After being released, she returned to Kazakhstan, then went to Turkey. It is not clear which country she's currently based in.

When victim was detained

May 22, 2017 - a day after she crossed into China at Korgas.

On the day of her arrest, she was first taken to the police station for a full day of interrogations, until she got transferred to Urumqi’s Number 3 prison in around 11.30 PM, which had been turned into an all-female prison a week before. She was held there for three months, then taken to the No. 2 detention center in Urumqi before being transferred to a women’s prison again until her release in September 2018.

Probable (or official) reason for detention

The police accused her of transferring 17,000 yuan (£2000) from China to an organisation referred as Nur, which is based in Turkey. She told the police that she had never heard of such an organisation and had never transferred money from China to Turkey.

The official reason for the arrest as specified on the document sent by Chinese authorities to the Kazakh side was "assisting in terrorist activities".

Victim's status

Released and outside China.

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

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-08/uyghur-woman-details-life-inside-chinese-re-education-camp/10697044 (published 8 JAN 2019)

https://supchina.com/2018/12/05/starving-and-subdued-in-xinjiang-detention-centers/ (published 5 DEC 2018)

Additional information

Gulbahar says the conditions in the detention centers were horrible. There wasn‘t enough space for the women to sleep and the food given to them was watery and sometimes uncooked. The women also received bad food for a month as punishment for speaking Uyghur to each other. They also had political doctrine and Chinese class content delivered through a monitor. They were also given pills which interfered with the menstrual period and caused loss of concentration.

Supplementary materials

testimony on Uyghur TV
China tribunal statement
interview to Sky News
notice of arrest (in Chinese)

Entry created: 2019-01-19

Last updated: 2019-10-14

Latest update from testifier: 2019-04-01