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Entry of 6598

Zeynur Turdi
Zeynur Turdi
Likely place of origin
place of origin unclear
Likely current location
Last reported det. type
concentration camp
When first detained
July 2017 - Sep. 2017
Probable detention reason
related to religion
Health status
Exemplary testimonies 

Testifying party

Addison McTague, an American graduate student at Harvard University

Victim's relation to testifier

She was my dear friend

About the victim

Zainur Turdi/Turti? (last name unknown, pinyin: Zainuer Tuerdi) graduted from Beijing University of Chemical Technology (北京化工大学) in 2017 with a degree in English. She had been accepted to a master's program in Australia in the hopes of earning a degree in teaching English as Second Language (ESL).

Victim's location

Concentration camp in Kashgar

When victim was detained

5 July 2017

Probable (or official) reason for detention

While I am unsure if a reason was properly given, I assume it is because she traveled to Egypt in 2016 to visit her older brother who was there studying Islam. To my knowledge, he still remains abroad. Some may also claim her detention is because she refused to take off hijab while in Beijing, or because she prayed in her dorm room with five Han Chinese girls around and in classrooms where some occasionally witnessed these overt acts of religiosity. Or, they may cite her undergraduate thesis for her English major as "inciting terrorism." I've included it here under supplementary materials. She had sent it to me asking that I edit it; I've included both the original version she sent me and the one I edited with tracked changes. I include both because if the thesis is by any chance available anywhere, it is likely the edited version.

Victim's status

Assumably still detained.

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

She was a dear friend of mine when I studied in Beijing in the spring of 2017. While I left Beijing in May 2017, she and I remained in contact throughout the following month. She blocked me for one week on WeChat in anticipation of her return to Kashgar to take some test apparently mandated before she could graduate from her university. Upon her return to Beijing, she added me again and told me, crying, that authorities had promptly confiscated her passport in the airport in XJ -- "for safe keeping." She knew then she could not go to Australia and instead began to muse about trying for a master's program in Beijing or Shanghai the following year. The day she graduated was the last I heard from her.
I returned to Beijing in the summer of 2018 to learn that she had been detained July 2017.

Additional information

She was 24 or 25 at the time of her graduation in 2017, making her 26 or 27 now.
Her email was [email protected]
Her English name was Rita.
Her university ID may have been 2013017307 (as pulled from the file name of the final draft of her thesis)
The confidant who told me she was detained was the same who told me her older brother, Muhammad, was able to flee to Turkey from Egypt. Muhammad was last heard from in June 2018. The confidant had not heard anything from him in some time, so requested I attempt reaching out in July 2018. I similarly received no response. The numbers I previously had for him on varying platforms (i.e. WeChat, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal) have all been disconnected.

Supplementary materials

praying in dorm room
letter to testifier (1)
letter to testifier (2)
letter to testifier (3)
letter to testifier (4)
thesis (on bilingual education)
thesis (edited)

Entry created: 2019-05-21

Last updated: 2019-05-21

Latest update from testifier: 2019-05-21