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Chinese ID: 654221197302073053 (Dorbiljin)
List(s): Eyewitness accounts, Forced labor cases, Examples of international / media pressure on Xinjiang authorities, Victims with foreign residence
Testifying party (submitted by third party)
Most testimonies and Testimony 11-12: Oralqan Abenqyzy moved to Kazakhstan from China with her family in 2016. She has already obtained Kazakhstan citizenship. Her Kazakh ID number is 810204000. Lives in Almaty Region.
Testimony 13: Tursynbek Qabiuly.
Victim's relation to testifier
Most testimonies and Testimony 11-12: husband
Testimony 13: Himself.
About the victim
Tursynbek Qabiuly (吐尔逊别克•哈比), born on February 7, 1973, passport no. E85853261. Chinese citizen. His Chinese ID number is 654221197302073053. Kazakhstan green card: 042074458.
He went to China on September 5, 2017. The local police seized his passport and Kazakhstan Permanent Resident card on his arrival.
When victim was detained
Documents confiscated as he entered China on September 5, 2017. Taken for 6 days of interrogation in a basement cell on September 28 (not clear if 2017 or 2018 - Globe and Mail article says 2017, but self-testimony seems to suggest 2018).
Reason given for detention
Testimony 12: returned to Kazakhstan on February 2, 2019.
[G. A. Bunin: In mid-March 2019, a source familiar with Tursynbek's case told me that he was now having blood issues.]
How did the testifier learn about the victim's status?
Testimony 13: Self-testimony.
At one point, Oralqan's husband contacted her to tell her he was going to divorce her. She assumes this is because he was forced to do so, so that she won’t be able to appeal as a spouse. They married legally and they have three children. Two daughters and a son - Baythan Tursynbek (born in 2001), Aqerke Tursynbek (2006), and Aqedil Tursynbek(2011).
Self-testimony from the victim (Testimony 13, summarized by G. A. Bunin):
He went to his hometown in China on September 5, 2017, with the border staff taking away his passport and arranging for a car to take him to his hometown in Emin County (around 50 km away from the Bakhty border crossing). The next day, the local police told him not to visit them for the coming month unless there was an emergency. He didn't know what to do.
After some time, he heard that his son in Kazakhstan injured his forehead and had to have an operation. Collecting all the necessary documents to prove it, he went to the police, but they wouldn’t return his passport, finding various excuses. They told him not to turn off his mobile phone and to be ready at any time to visit the station. He had to attend a flag-raising ceremony every Monday.
In May, they called him to the police station. It was crowded and everybody was asked to fill in a form where they had to state their faith, if they were religious, and if they believed in the power of the Communist Party. The police warned that there’d be consequences if they wrote that they believed in God. In the end, Tursynbek wrote that he didn't believe in God.
In June, they called him in again, saying that his children in Kazakhstan had filed a petition. Tursynbek told them that he wasn't aware of it. In fact, he didn't even have their contact info, having deleted them from his WeChat account. At the end of August, he was summoned again, with the police informing him that his passport was cancelled and that he had supposedly signed off on it himself, even though he had never signed such a document.
On September 28, two guys from Homeland Security (国保队) came to meet him, taking him to a basement for an interrogation. It was nearly 20 meters underground, in a cell slightly larger than 10 square meters in area and with 6 barred cages in the cell, each smaller than one square meter. There were benches inside, but the cages were so tiny that you couldn't even lie down. Tursynbek would be questioned in a different room for three hours, in a tiger chair. The men, ethnic Kazakh police, asked him if he knew “Zharqyn 7”, or if he had ever listened to his lectures. Later, he was also asked about his relatives, including the deceased ones, as well as about his classmates, primary school teachers, and friends. They asked him to write a report about his current friends.
While he was in the cage, he saw a Kazakh man who had worked as a teacher, named Ashel Token. Ashel was accused of talking to people in Kazakhstan over WeChat.
Tursynbek would spend a total of 6 days there, having only rice and steamed buns. He says that it wasn't so hard to eat less, but that it was hard not to drink water. He was always thirsty.
When they were about to release him, they made him say "Long live Xi Jinping, long live the Communist Party", and warned that he should make his family members stop petitioning.
He then had to have a cadre as his “relative”, despite not even having his own house there. So he met up with his "relative” on the street and they agreed to report that they lived together. The cadres needed to give their non-cadre "relatives" 30 RMB per night for their hospitality.
Tursynbek’s hometown police would call him in regularly to fill in paperwork, later questioning him daily because he had informed his wife about his mother-in-law's (https://shahit.biz/eng/viewentry.php?entryno=278) detention and his brother-in-law's (https://shahit.biz/eng/viewentry.php?entryno=279) death. He even thought about divorcing his wife to be free of these interrogations.
He was recruited to be a patrol guard in his village twice. There, they had to wear helmets, bulletproof vests, and hold a stick. They had to show up whenever the alarm rang in the shops or restaurants. The shop/cafe owners and workers also had to gather if an alarm rang. Each place had its own red button. Once, a drunk person pressed it, forcing everyone to show up "armed". They always told them to be on alert against the “evil forces”, though no one knew who they were.
Tursynbek had two acquaintances who were religious and used to never drink, but both of whom do now. Women also have to drink. If you refuse, they say that it's a national beverage, and that you have evil thoughts and need to be cured.
When he was called into the office to get his passport back, he saw 6 huge sacks full of passports there. They then made a video of his "happy daily life” before releasing him. His nephew signed a document as his guarantor. When Tursynbek went to see his [recently released] mother-in-law (https://shahit.biz/eng/viewentry.php?entryno=278), there were two people [police and/or civil workers] at her house.
He returned to Kazakhstan on February 2, 2019.
Mention in the Globe and Mail (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-i-felt-like-a-slave-inside-chinas-complex-system-of-incarceration/):
On Sept. 28, 2017, Chinese state security took Tursynbek Qabi, 45, to the basement of a prison facility and locked him in a cage that was too small for him to lie down. Accused of taking family members to Kazakhstan, he was kept there for six days, sleeping slumped against the bars on the side of the cell. “It was like an animal cage,” he said. Mr. Qabi was then released to a kind of town arrest − allowed to go home, but not allowed to travel elsewhere without permission. Local officials ordered everyone under the age of 50 to attend nightly Chinese language classes from 6 to 8 p.m., he said.
For others who have left China for Kazakhstan, concern remains for family members still in Xinjiang − some of whom have made themselves personally liable for those no longer in China. “My relatives signed documents as guarantors, saying when I am in Kazakhstan, I won’t say anything bad about China,” Mr. Qabi said.
Entry created: 2018-10-31
Last updated: 2018-10-31
Latest update from testifier: 2017-07-01