Kyrgyz immigrants from China ask Jeenbekov for help in freeing imprisoned relatives


BISHKEK -- At least 50,000 ethnic Kyrgyz are being kept in "re-education camps" in China, a group of ethnic Kyrgyz immigrants from Xinjiang, China, warned Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov in a Monday (November 26) open letter, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

About 200,000 ethnic Kyrgyz live in Xinjiang, mainly in the Kyzylsu-Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture near the Chinese-Kyrgyz border.

In their letter, the Kyrgyz repatriates urged Jeenbekov to help release their relatives, who have been held incommunicado, sometimes for more than two years.

About one million Muslims from Xinjiang are languishing in "counter-extremism centres" and millions more have been forced into re-education camps, a UN investigation revealed in August.

Authorities in China dispute the description of the facilities as internment camps.

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