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Uyghur Meshrep Detainee Handed 17 Years For Decade-Old Family Planning Violation

Obulqasim Abdurehim’s family had paid a fine to have a third child rather than abort it.

Obulqasim Abdurehim’s ID cardPhoto Courtsey:RFA

A Uyghur engineer with the Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture branch of a state-run telecom company in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has been sentenced to a lengthy jail term for having rejected local family planning policies, according to sources.

RFA’s Uyghur Service recently received a tip from a person claiming knowledge of the situation in Kashgar who said that a fraternal group of 16 men known as a “meshrep” had been detained, and that as many as 14 had been given prison sentences after more than a year of “re-education.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal, said that at least one of the meshrep’s jailed members is Obulqasim Abdurehim, a 47-year-old engineer for the Kashgar branch of China Telecom.

They said the group was detained for “illegal gathering and organizing” in May 2017—during the early phase of a campaign of mass extralegal incarceration that has seen authorities hold up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps throughout the XUAR.

Their “crimes” were mostly related to the organizing of the meshrep, held in 2014 and earlier, the source said, which included well-respected and influential members of Kashgar society who worked in the economic, administrative, and artistic realms. The men, all close friends since childhood, had met regularly to play music and tell jokes—often features of a meshrep gathering.

Meshrep is a form of private, grassroots gathering that often includes social, entertainment, and moral functions all layered in a single setting. Authorities in the XUAR have approached the custom in a haphazard way in recent decades—banning it in some parts of the region and encouraging it in others. A state-sanctioned form of meshrep is on an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The source said that after detaining Abdurehim, authorities were determined to unearth his past “mistakes” and interrogated him for six months before he admitted to the “crime” of refusing authorities’ demand that his wife abort her pregnancy 10 years earlier.

According to the source, Abdurehim’s wife was pregnant when the couple received a notice from family-planning authorities demanding that they have an abortion because the child would be their third—a violation of regulations at the time that restricted minorities to two children per family. Rather than abort the child, Abdurehim and his wife paid a fine to the local government.

However, after acknowledging the violation during his interrogation in 2017, authorities told Abdurehim that it constituted evidence of “religious extremism” and locked him up, despite him having accepted the fine as his punishment at the time of the incident. The source said he was later handed a 17-year jail term, which he is currently serving at the Qosheriq Prison in Korgas (Huocheng) county, in the XUAR’s Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture.

Additionally, the source told RFA that while Abdurehim had paid a fine for violating the family-planning policy a decade earlier, authorities had reportedly fined his family another 90,000 yuan (U.S. $13,900) after his detention in 2017. They said Aburehim’s wife paid the fine in hopes that her husband would be released, to no avail.

Seventeen-year sentence

In order to verify the claims, RFA spoke with a security officer from Kashgar city’s Qizildowe neighborhood whose department has jurisdiction over the area where the meshrep was held.

When asked about the men who were targeted from the group, the officer acknowledged that Abdurehim had been among those detained in 2017 and said, “he’s still there.”

However, the officer said he was unsure of where Abdurehim is being held or whether he had been sentenced to prison for anything.

“There’s been no news of him since they took him to the re-education center,” he said, using a euphemism for an internment camp.

Another employee of the neighborhood committee who answered the phone gave more clarity on why Abdurehim and his friends were detained in 2017.

“They’d organized and taken part in meshreps,” he said.

RFA also called the Kashgar Municipal Family-Planning Department and spoke with an employee who, when asked whether Abdurehim’s case had to do with violating limitations on the number of children in minority families, said, “it does.”

However, she claimed that she was “unfamiliar with this man’s records” and referred further questions about him to a cadre at the department who she said had worked there for much longer.

The cadre told RFA that Abdurehim had been sentenced to “17 years” and said, “he’s been moved around a number of times.”

She did not confirm whether the engineer is being held at Qosheriq Prison in Korgas county.

RFA was also unable to independently verify whether Abdurehim’s family had been fined again after his 2017 detention.

Meshrep detainees

Earlier this month, RFA learned that another member of the same meshrep, Kashgar Prefecture transportation chief Abliz Tohtaji, had been jailed for seven years for his involvement in the group. An official source called the sentence a relatively “small” punishment compared to many of his friends, owing to his “good behavior” while in interrogation.

With regards to Tohtaji’s fellow meshrep members, the officer told RFA, “they’ve already been sentenced” and that his neighborhood committee had handed over their verdicts to their families, without providing further details.

The imprisonment of Tohtaji demonstrates how not even civil servants are safe amid a campaign of mass incarceration in the XUAR. Many targeted former officials have also ended up in the camps they helped to populate, which Beijing has labeled voluntary centers for “vocational training” that protect the region against “religious extremism” and “terrorism.”

Reporting by RFA and other media outlets, however, shows that detainees are mostly held against their will in cramped and unsanitary conditions, where they are forced to endure inhumane treatment and political indoctrination.

Reported by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by the Uyghur Service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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India COVID-19 News

1 March 2021
India Coronavirus Cases:11,096,731  Deaths:157,051
How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is the duplicate one might be or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us or Whats App:+916289017966

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