Uighur's links to home come with a steep price

Uyghurs march in Brussels to call for an end to mass detentions of Uyghurs in China, April 27, 2018. Photo: RFA

23 Jul 2019 12:27PM

AUCKLAND: After brutal riots ten years ago that left 200 people dead, Shawudun Abdughupur and his wife understood they could have no future in China's Xinjiang region.

Then aged 33, the ethnic Uighur cameraman made a wrenching choice to flee their homeland and strike out for a better, safer life 12,500km away in New Zealand.

After the bloodshed "I found something is different," he said from Auckland, explaining the decision to leave, "I felt so hopeless."

Relations between China's Han majority and Abdughupur's Muslim, Turkic-speaking brethren, have rarely been good.

Most of the current territory of Xinjiang was annexed by China in the late 19th century. Following the Chinese civil war and various armed struggles, the Communist army took control of the entire region in the early 1950s.

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