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Entry of 6598

Ergali Ermek
Ergali Ermek
Likely place of origin
Likely current location
outside China
Last reported det. type
When first detained
Oct. 2017 - Dec. 2017
Probable detention reason
related to religion
Health status
has problems
Forced labor cases  Victims with foreign residence  Eyewitness accounts  Covered in international media  From prolonged detention to prison 

See raw/original

Testifying party (submitted by third party)

Most of the testimonies are from Nurgul Muratbek, the victim's ex-wife (wife at the time of his detention). Others are given by Ergali Ermek, the victim himself, with some information also gleaned from media reports.

Victim's relation to testifier

[see above]

About the victim

Ergali Ermek used to work as an imam at a mosque in Korgas County prior to moving to Kazakhstan in 2012.

Former address in China: 91 Beizhangou Road, Sarbulaq Municipality, Korgas County, Xinjiang (新疆霍城县萨尔布拉克镇备战沟路91号).

Chinese passport: E03048338. Kazakhstan residence permit: 036935288.

Victim's location

In Kazakhstan.

When victim was detained

He went to China on November 9, 2017 and was interrogated for a week in his home town of Sarbulak in Qorgas County. A week later, he was transferred to the Yining City prison and was put into a camp on November 23, 2017.

On April 5, 2018, he was taken to a court hearing and given a prison term of 3 years, with the verdict officially stamped. However, on December 21, 2018, inspectors came and told the detainees that those who had direct relatives in Kazakhstan could leave. Ergali was released on December 24, 2018, and would make it to his home in Kazakhstan on January 20, 2019.

Overall, Ergali says that he stayed in two different camps, one with 1000 inmates and another with 2000. According to a Radio Free Asia report, the camp he stayed at in Korghas had originally been a mosque.

Probable (or official) reason for detention

Four "crimes" were given to the victim as he was sentenced: (1) being a pious Muslim, (2) having WhatsApp on his phone, (3) having gone to Kazakhstan, (4) having a wife who wore a hijab.

The NPR report also mentions his having listened to news about mosque destruction in Xinjiang as a reason.

Victim's status

Now back in Kazakhstan. He is struggling with some health issues that are believed to be the result of his detention.

How did the testifier learn about the victim's status?

Nurgul mentions that Ergali called her twice from camp using the landline number +869913231002. Ergali's report is an eyewitness testimony.

Additional information

Coverage by the Taiwan Reporter: https://www.twreporter.org/a/xinjiang-re-education-camps-truth (This article talks about him as a citizen of Kazakhstan and also has Ergali reporting that he had to pay 2800 yuan for his studies in camp and an additional 250 for serum injections. He also says that he was tortured in a tiger chair.)

Prior to finally releasing him to what would be 26 days of house arrest, the officials allegedly asked Ergali three questions: 1. Do you want to live in Kazakhstan or in China? 2. Do you want to work in a factory? 3. Do you want to reunite with your family in Kazakhstan?

During his time in detention, his father wrote appeals to the authorities demanding his son's release, but would himself get detained for 6 months.

Coverage by Azattyq: https://rus.azattyq.org/a/kazakhstan-medical-assistance-former-prisoners-from-xinjiang/30180666.html

Coverage by Radio Free Asia's Mandarin service: https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/shaoshuminzu/ql2-09262019084115.html

NPR coverage: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/764153179/china-has-begun-moving-xinjiang-muslim-detainees-to-formal-prisons-relatives-say

Suspected human rights violations

Article 4: Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone else our slave.
Article 5: Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
Article 7: The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
Article 8: We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.
Article 9: Nobody has the right to put us in prison without a good reason, to keep us there or to send us away from our country.
Article 10: If someone is accused of breaking the law they have the right to a fair and public trial.
Article 11: Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it has been proved that they did it. If people say we did something bad, we have the right to show this was not true. Nobody should punish us for something that we did not do, or for doing something which was not against the law when we did it.
Article 13: We all have the right to go where we want to in our own country and to travel abroad as we wish.
Article 18: We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.
Article 20: We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.

Supplementary materials

Testimony 1
Testimony 2
Testimony 3
Testimony 4
Chinese ID
photo (1)
photo (2)

Entry created: 2018-10-17

Last updated: 2019-12-31

Latest update from testifier: 2019-09-22