Uyghur Man ‘Disappears’ After Sharing Chinese Detention Video by GABRIELLE REYES for Breitbart
A Uyghur man who recorded and shared a video of himself in a Chinese detention facility has disappeared, along with his Uyghur aunt, the man’s uncle told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Thursday.
Published by the BBC on Tuesday, the man’s video shows him handcuffed to a bed in a Uyghur detention facility in China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang, home to ethnic minorities including Uyghurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The family of Merdan Ghappar, 31, told the BBC that he managed to keep his phone while in detention and record a series of videos of himself and his surroundings, which he then sent back to his family along with text messages he allegedly wrote detailing his ordeal.
Just two days after the British broadcaster published Merdan’s video, the man’s uncle told RFA that both Merdan and his Uyghur aunt have gone missing.
Ghappar’s uncle is an exiled Uyghur activist named Abdulhakim Ghappar, now based in the Netherlands. He says that Merdan originally sent the video to his aunt, Ayshemgul Ghappar. Ayshemgul then forwarded the video to Abdulhakim in early March.
“Abdulhakim said he and Merdan exchanged text messages relayed by Ayshemgul over the course of several days, discussing his situation in detention before all communication suddenly ceased with his nephew and sister. We exchanged messages for a week … [and for the last time] around March 9 or 10,” the report stated.
“He sent me a message and then he and my sister were just gone. I’ve heard nothing from my sister since,” Abdulhakim added.
CCP guards at the detention facility where Merdan was held “undoubtedly took his phone away,” the man’s uncle said. “It seems clear that he got in even worse trouble after sending the video—I think this is why he disappeared,” Abdulhakim speculated.