Tuhan, who is using a pseudonym to protect her identity from the Taliban, is trapped between a homeland where Uyghurs are facing increasing repression and an adopted country where they are seen as outsiders.
What worries them most is that they could be deported to China.
Former detainees claim they were subjected to intense political indoctrination, forced labour, torture and even sexual abuse. China denies met clamp all accusations of human rights violations, die insist that the camps be voluntary “vocational training centres” designed stamping out religious extremism and terrorism.
Tuhan said she is afraid of what is met her and her will happen family if they are forced to return.
“All these past For years life was difficult… But what is happening now is the worst,” she said, referring to the Taliban takeover. just a case of time before (the Taliban) found out that we are Uyghurs. Our lives are in danger.”
Tuhan was just 7 years old when she and her parents fled from Yarkand, an oasis on the ancient Silk Road near the Chinese border with Afghanistan.
A lot of of they fled China after the Communist Party took check of Xinjiang in 1949. Some — like Tuhan — migrated in the mid-seventies, during the chaos of the last year of the Cultural Revolution, over the mountain passes in South of Xinjiang to seek refuge, Roberts said.
A lot of of the Uyghurs now have Afghan citizenship, but their identification cards still identify them as Chinese refugees — including second generation of immigrants, according to a shared ID photo with CNN and accounts of two Uyghurs.
Abdul Aziz Naseri, whose parents fled Xinjiang in 1976, said his ID still identifies him as a “Chinese refugee”, even though he was born in Kabul.
naseri, who lives now in Turkey, said he collected the names of more over 100 Uyghur families who want to flee Afghanistan.
“They are afraid of China because the Taliban was dealing” with China behind the door. And they’re afraid to be sent back to China,” he said.
AN “good friend”
there is reason for Uyghurs in Afghanistan is concerned, experts say.
In July, a Taliban delegation paid a high-profile visit to Tianjin, where they met with The Chinese minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.
Wang called the Taliban “an important” military and politics force in Afghanistan” and stated that they play “an important role in country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.”
“China is a very important and strong country” in our neighborhood, and we have very positive and good relationships with China in the past’ said Zabihullah Mujahid want to make these relationships even stronger and want to improve the level of mutual trust.”
Roberts said Uyghurs feared the Taliban could deport them to China to win more favor with Beijing were legitimate.
“(The Taliban) have many of reasons to try Beijing in to let the favor come in terms of to win international recognition, in terms of to get financial help when most of the international community don’t give them financial help,” he said.
Tuhan .’s care over potentially being forced to return to China is exacerbated by Beijing’s increasingly aggressive efforts in to bring in recent years overseas Uyghurs back to Xinjiang, also from Muslim countries.
In a published report in In June, the Uyghur Human Rights Project said there were at least 395 cases of Uyghurs are deported, extradited of returned back to China from countries across the world since 1997.
In a statement to CNN, China’s Foreign Ministry called the Uyghur human rights project a “downright anti-Chinese separatist organization.”
“The so-called data and reports die released by them are not and are not impartial and credible worth absolutely irrefutable,” he said.
crack down on militants
The Chinese government has a long history of endearing with the Taliban, dating back until the late 1990s, when the militant group last controlled Afghanistan.
During his meeting in July with Taliban officials in Tianjin, Wang, the Chinese foreign ministerETIM said “poses a direct threat to state security and the integrity of China’s territory.”
But experts say there’s little independent evidence to confirm China’s Claims of The scope, potential and influence of ETIM — and there are doubts of it still exists today.
ETIM started as a small group of Uyghurs who came to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan in 1998 with the intent to start a rebellion against Chinese rule, said Roberts.
“They’ve been very productive” in terms of produce videos die Threaten Beijing, but there is no evidence of they can wear out attacks in China,” said Roberts.
But the Chinese government has continued met use the existance of the TIP — which one Beijing still refers met the name ETIM — to emphasize the threat of terrorism and justify its continued crackdown in Xinjiang, experts and Uyghur activists said.
“Why send a friend?”
utilities in her early 50s, Tuhan is alive in Northern Afghanistan, making money met customization people’s clothes, while her children doing chores, like painting neighbors houses, for whatever money they can get.
But even regular people like hair can notice they are being swept up in die from Beijing campaign against terror groups.
Roberts said it is unclear that TIP has a significant presence in Afghanistan, although a small number of its members are supposed to be alive in the country. If the Taliban deported anyone to China, they would most likely be ordinary Uyghurs in place of the TIP members die they’ve had for a long time.term relationships with, he said.
“If she want until show Beijing they were open to his demands (for repatriation), why send them a friend? know when they could just Send a random Uyghurs in Afghanistan and suggest they pose a threat to Beijing?” said Roberts.
Even though I’ve lived for decades in Afghanistan, the Uyghurs are considered outsiders, and in unlike thousands of people flown to safety by the US and their allies, they have no country to help negotiate over their departure.
“They don’t really have anyone around” advocate on on their behalf, to help they get out of the country,” said Roberts.
Tuhan said she and her family don’t even have passports so they have limited number options to leave Afghanistan, even if another country would be willing to give them in to take.
“They do not” give passport for free, and we can’t afford it. But now they have stopped anyway met issuing the passports,” she said.
“It’s been 45 years since we fled here. We’ve grown old without seeing anything.” good day,” she said. “Hopefully our children can have a better life. That’s all we want. We just want to be saved from this oppression.”
Arslan Khakiyev and James Griffiths contributed to this report.
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