According to reports, an Uyghur woman abducted from her home in China’s Xinjiang region in the middle of the night more than four years ago was sentenced to 14 years in prison for providing Islamic instruction to children in her neighbourhood and hiding copies of the Quran.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): According to reports, an Uyghur woman abducted from her home in China’s Xinjiang region in the middle of the night more than four years ago was sentenced to 14 years in prison for providing Islamic instruction to children in her neighbourhood and hiding copies of the Quran.
Hasiyet Ehmet, aged 57 and a native of Manas (Manasi) county in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, has not been heard from since she was kidnapped by Chinese officials in May 2017.
After RFA (Radio Free Asia) first reported on Hasiyet’s case, a source with knowledge of the situation told RFA’s Uyghur Service that authorities have sentenced the woman to 14 years in prison — seven for teaching the Quran and giving religious lessons to local children and another seven years for hiding two copies of the sacred text during a period when police began confiscating religious books from Manas county residents.
According to sources tracking the incident, officers from the county’s No. 3 police station had stormed into Hasiyet’s home and placed a black hood over her head, ignoring her plea to put on different clothing or fetch her medicine before taking her away. Hasiyet Ehmet was sentenced to 14 years in prison, according to a Manas county court official.
“It was because of teaching kids the Quran and hiding two copies of Quran when authorities were confiscating them, and later getting caught,” the official said. Hasiyet’s spouse was convicted of “separatism” charges and sentenced to life in prison in 2009, nine years before her arrest.
Hasiyet had stopped teaching children two years before her arrest because of health problems and had refrained from attending public events, but still, she was arrested and punished.
For years, Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have tortured a number of Uyghur Muslims as part of a campaign to monitor, control, and assimilate members of the Islamic community in an effort to stop religious extremism and terrorist activities.