Uyghur Help: Documenting the Stories of 4,577 Uyghurs in Istanbul

September 23, 2020

By Uyghur Help Association

Project Manager: Abduweli Ayup

From December 2019 to May 2020, the Uyghur Hjelp Association in Norway conducted a survey on the victims of relatives and friends of Uyghurs mainly living in Istanbul, Turkey. A total of 8 team members from Turkey and the Norway participated in this statistical survey, and all of them are university educated and trained. Two of them are female and the remaining six are male. The financial supporter of this survey is the Human Rights Foundation in New York City of the United States.

In total, the surveyers interviewed more than 500 people through face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, and mailing, and more than 90% of the survey subjects were Uyghurs living in Istanbul, Turkey, where a large portion of Uyghur diaspora population live. The explanation and indication of this investigation has been reported in some Uyghur-language news media and the Facebook channel of the Uyghur Hjelp Association. The survey data consists of electronic and paper documents, the paper documents also record the victim’s photo and other details.

From the electronic document of Excel statistics table, we can find that the three regions with the highest proportion of victims are Kashgar (37%), Hotan (24%), and Aksu (21%). The Uyghur population in these three regions is the largest in East Turkistan, and the proportion of Uyghur population in local is also quite high. In addition, more than 600 children have no parents, and about 100 elderly people over 70 years old are left unattended. The Chinese Communist Party also severely cracked down and illegally arrested various Uyghur intellectuals (306), religious figures (251) and businessmen (841), etc. These can be proof of persecution and prove the lies of the CCP in educating Uyghurs.

There are many Uyghur religious figures arrested, including the vice chairman of the Xinjiang Islamic Association and the imam of the Kashgar Id Kah mosque Abdukadir Sawut(who died in detention), the vice chairman of the Urumqi Islamic Association Abduwahap Damollam, and the chairman of the Aksu Prefecture Islamic Association Ahmet Metniyaz etc.

When we look at the whereabouts of Uyghur students who learned abroad, most of them were basically locked into camps or detained without charges or legal process, especially students who returned from Muslim countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. For example, among the students who returned from studying in Egypt, the number of arrested and missing students ghastly reached 152, including Abdukhalik Uyghur, who studied in Egypt after being approved by the local government in Turpan.

The analysis of the statistical table found that the so-called Uyghur prisoners sentenced from the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture were assigned and sent to the prison system of Heilongjiang Province, including Abduweli Muqiyit who was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

We can also find that some of the students in the concentration camps have died, some have been sentenced, and some have been forced to work after being transferred to various provinces in China. In some families, all adult members were arrested or disappeared, children were forced to send to government boarding schools, families broke down, and there was a serious humanitarian crisis. Among them, there are two staff members of the national security system, too.

This statistical document also includes information such as the address and contact information of the witness, and the willingness of the witness to testify in public has been marked (as yes/no). It is believed that this statistical file is of extraordinary value, providing journalists and researchers with very worthy, useful information and confidential evidence.

The data will be released to the public following some additional work. Any human rights organizations, researchers, and journalists who are interested accessing the database once it becomes available, please visit

Uyghur Times

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