The detentions appear to be part of an effort by the Chinese government to wipe out religious beliefs and aspects of cultural identity in order to enforce political loyalty for the State and the Communist Party of China. 26-year-old Kazakh student Bota Kussaiyn and her family had a happy life in Kazakhstan, having moved there from China in 2013. But in November 2017, Bota’s father returned to the XUAR to see a doctor and never came back. Three months later, her mother learned from relatives that he had been sent to a political “re-education” camp. Bota and her family don’t know where he is. Bota’s relatives in the XUAR are now so afraid that speaking with her mother might bring suspicion from the Chinese authorities on them that they have cut off all communication. Bota’s story is far from unique.
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