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China's Uyghur crackdown targets police, families

Relatives of security personnel considered off limits in previous purges

China's Uyghur crackdown targets police, families

A policeman passes an ethnic Uyghur, selling bags on a street in Urumqi in China's Xinjiang region in this file photo. Relatives of security personnel are now being detained in a crackdown on the Muslim ethnic group according to sources. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP)

November 7, 2017

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Relatives of Uyghur security personnel are now being detained as part of a crackdown on the ethnic Muslim group in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, according to sources.

Authorities had previously considered family members of security personnel enforcing the crackdown “off limits” in previous campaigns.

Thousands of Uyghurs accused of having “extremist” and “politically incorrect” views have been sent to political re-education camps and prisons across the region.

Sources in Kashgar prefecture’s Yengisar (Yingjisha) county recently told Radio Free Asia that Uyghur police officers and their family members are now being targeted.

An officer from Saghan township’s No. 3 village police station said nearly half of the nine regular duty officers working there have family members who were detained.

“There are four police officers whose relatives are in detention, including one whose siblings are being held,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous.

At least one other policeman from the township, who served had served as a border officer for five years, was fired after his relatives were arrested for “extremism.”

“Tursunjan Emet, a border police officer, was removed from his post — his father and two of his elder brothers were arrested,” the officer said.

“Those whose family members have been convicted and sent to prison are removed from their jobs.”

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