China has allegedly been separating Uighur families and sending children to state-run orphanages, rights group Amnesty International claims.
Amnesty said it spoke to six exiled families who were separated from their children against their will, and cannot return in fear of arrest.
Uighur families now exiled in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, told the rights group that their children were prevented from joining them.
Mihriban Kader, an exiled parent left her children in the care of grandparents in 2016 when they fled to Italy but the grandparents were soon sent to a camp and interrogated by police.
“Our other relatives didn’t dare to look after my children after what had happened to my parents,” Kader said. “They were afraid that they would be sent to camps, too.”
Chinese police intercepted Kader’s children in 2019 when they were traveling to the Italian consulate in Shanghai in plans to reunite with their parents in Italy.
Authorities would allegedly send children to “orphan camps” whose parents were detained or sent to internment camps.
Amnesty International’s China Researcher Alkan Akad said, “The heartbreaking testimonies of the parents we spoke to only scratches the surface of the scale of suffering endured by Uyghur families separated from their children.”
“The Chinese government must end its heartless policies in Xinjiang and ensure that families can be reunited as quickly as possible without fear of being sent to an oppressive camp,” Akad added.
Amnesty also urged China to provide UN human rights experts access to Xinjiang for investigations into the reports.
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