Egypt Independent

Empty places at the table: Uighur children missing in China



 

ISTANBUL (AP) — Chinese authorities are placing the children of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities into dozens of state-run orphanages across the far western Xinjiang region, as around 1 million adults in their families are sent to internment camps.

The orphanages are only the latest example of Beijing’s efforts to systematically distance young Muslims in Xinjiang from their families and culture. Uighurs fear such efforts are erasing their ethnic identity, one child at a time.

In Istanbul, The Associated Press spoke to a dozen Uighur families during the Muslim holy festival Eid al-Adha, which comes with large family reunions. Tables in every home were resplendently laid out with traditional Xinjiang dishes like homemade noodles, freshly butchered lamb and crispy nan bread.