Elderly Uyghur women imprisoned in China for decades-old religious ‘crimes’, leaked files reveal
February 1, 2024 | The Guardian
Hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women, including religious leaders, are estimated to have been arrested and imprisoned in Xinjiang since 2014, with some elderly women detained for practices that took place decades ago, according to an analysis of leaked Chinese police files.
There is growing evidence of the abusive treatment of the Uyghur Muslim population of the north-west Chinese region of Xinjiang, with their traditions and religion seen as evidence of extremism and separatism.
New analysis of leaked police files found more than 400 women – some more than 80 years old – were sentenced by Chinese police for wearing religious clothing and acquiring or spreading religious knowledge. Most were sentenced for studying the Qur’an, said researchers from the US-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, who used analysis of the files to extrapolate that hundreds of thousands of women were likely to have been detained, in total.