Fears for Australian Uighurs trapped in China's 're-education camps'

Zulfiye Hiwilla's sister and brother-in-law.

By LIN EVLIN

Zulfiye Hiwilla moved to Sydney from China 13 years ago.

She now runs a small business in Sydney's west and despite being thousands of kilometres from Xingjiang province, still fears the long arm of the Chinese state.

Her sister and brother-in-law, both permanent residents in Australia, lost their freedom when they travelled to China in 2017.

"My sister and her husband [travelled] back to my country in February 2017. The Chinese government took her and her husband's passports," said Mrs Hiwilla, speaking publicly to SBS News for the first time.

She believes her brother-in-law may be in the controversial ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang province where the majority of Uighurs – a Muslim Turkic minority – are based.

"Their daughter and son are still in Australia," she said. "They have been very angry, shocked, the kids cry and [are] very stressed."

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