China treats Uighur kids as ‘orphans’ after parents seized

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Source: Associated Press

By YANAN WANG and DAKE KANG

ISTANBUL (AP) — Every morning, Meripet wakes up to her nightmare: The Chinese government has turned four of her children into orphans, even though she and their father are alive.

Meripet and her husband left the kids with their grandmother at home in China when they went to nurse Meripet’s sick father in Turkey. But after Chinese authorities started locking up thousands of their fellow ethnic Uighurs for alleged subversive crimes such as travel abroad, a visit became exile.

Then, her mother-in-law was also taken prisoner, and Meripet learned from a friend that her 3- to 8-year-olds had been placed in a de facto orphanage in the Xinjiang region, under the care of the state that broke up her family.

“It’s like my kids are in jail,” Meripet said, her voice cracking. “My four children are separated from me and living like orphans.”

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