“Won’t Anyone Listen to Justice?”

A Uyghur father describes his pregnant daughter's capture by family planning officials in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region.


RFA’s Uyghur service recently interviewed the father of Arzigul, an ethnic Uyghur woman in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region who was scheduled to undergo a second-term abortion against her will. After her case drew international attention, Arzigul was released to her family and allowed to continue her pregnancy.

Here, her father, Hasan Tursunjan, talks about how, after escaping from guards where she was being held, local authorities found Arzigul and forced her to return to the hospital that was to perform her abortion.

“Monday the police came to our home with more than 20 cars and took all of us—me, Arzigul's husband, and our family members—to our relatives’ and friends’ homes to search for Arzigul.“

“It was a big operation—and they treated us very rudely. They confiscated all our cellphones, but I hid one. One of them, the Dadamtu town communist party secretary, was pushing my forehead and saying, ‘You have connections with the separatists in America—see if they can come and rescue your daughter or not.’”

“I was very upset at what he did to me and said, ‘I believe they will rescue us, if not today then tomorrow, and if not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow—they will eventually rescue us.’”

“My youngest son was upset and rushed to us and shouted… ‘Don't touch my father!’ The [official] immediately called a few police over and they arrested him. They took him away with a car.”

I tried to lead them away

“When the car I was in came close to the Gulja electrical power station, I saw many police cars were next to a residential neighborhood. I heard from police that they learned my daughter Arzigul was in this neighborhood but they didn’t know where,” he said.

“I was very scared when I heard this from the police. I tried to lead them away from the area. I told them, ‘Let's go to my relative’s house in the city. I will take you all there.’ They agreed to follow me, but not all of them came with us. Most stayed around that neighborhood.”

“After they searched a house in the city, they took me back to the suspected neighborhood. I saw many police cars. Many people from the neighborhood were watching. My daughter was leaning against the wall of one the buildings and crying. I was very sad…I rushed to her and embraced her. I told her not to cry and wiped her tears.”

“One of the police told me, ‘your daughter didn't want to get into the police car—you tell her to get into the car. We don’t want to touch her because she is pregnant.’ I said, ‘why I should do that? I don't want her get into the car of a killer.’”

Won’t anyone listen to justice?

“They started to threaten me. I was very upset. I started to shout at the crowd very loudly. ‘Look everyone, these killers want to abort my daughter’s 7-month-old unborn baby! Listen to me! Won’t anyone listen to justice? I can't ask the government or these killers! That is why I have to ask you!’ I could see the anger in the eyes of the people, and especially in the eyes of the youngsters. But no one could do anything. If anyone got involved they would be arrested or killed.”

“After a while, I noticed that my daughter was shaking. She had only a few clothes on. The police were telling us to get into the car. We demanded that they release my son and bring him to us. My daughter said, ‘It was I who escaped. My father and siblings have nothing to do with this. Release my brother first and then I will get into the car and go with you.’”

“The police brought my son, Heytem, back and released him to us. Then we got into the car and they took us directly to the Ghulja Women and Children's Hospital.”

Studying Islam is illegal

“Arzigul had been hiding at her friend's house. They met each other when they were studying clothing design in school. She was a ‘Talip Kiz’ [a woman who is studying religion]. The government hates these people and says that studying Islam is illegal...”

“When the police were searching for Arzigul they threatened her friend saying her house would be destroyed. They searched the house and turned everything upside down. When they finally found my daughter they took her outside and told her to get into the car. I arrived right at that moment.”

“They didn't have a chance to interrogate Arzigul’s friend at that moment, as far as I know, but after the authorities finish working on my daughter’s case I believe they will eventually get to her.”


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