Source: Associated Press
By CHRISTINA LARSON
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two years after the Chinese government began to detain members of Muslim minority groups in western China, a growing number of family members abroad are refusing to remain silent.
On Sunday, about three dozen relatives of some of the 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others being held without charge spoke out about the mass detentions at an event in Washington, D.C., hoping to raise awareness of what many are calling a human rights travesty but which Beijing defends as necessary to counter violent religious extremism.
“If you know someone who is missing, it is time to speak up,” said Ferkat Jawdat, a Virginia-based software engineer. He’s lost contact with his 52-year-old mother in Xinjiang, a Chinese region home to the predominantly Muslim Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) and Kazakh ethnic minorities.