Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have detained an ethnic Kazakh man for reciting the Qur’an at a Muslim wedding, Radio Free Asia has learned.
Kusman Rehim, 56, read from the book on July 14 in a melodious art form revered in the Islamic world, the head of the Kazakh human rights group Atajurt said in an interview on Thursday. Detained after reading the Koran.
“Kusman Rehim was arrested on July 14,” said Bekzat Maksutkhan, head of Atajurt. “The main reason is that the police found a copy of the Koran in his home.”
“In addition, he recited the Qur’an in people’s homes during Eid al-Adha [June 27-July 1] And attended a Muslim wedding,” Bekzat said.
This arrest was made against the backdrop of A new wave of attacks on religious worship Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and followers of other religions have been forced to submit to party control and censorship of their religious life under the government’s “Sinicization” program.
However, reciting the Koran has been banned since China began mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in 2017.re-education camp across Xinjiang.
Authorities claimed that normal Islamic practices, such as growing beards, wearing the veil and Koran study groups, were evidence of “religious extremism”.
China also targets Muslim community’national unityHan “relatives” put pressure on them to give up the Ramadan fast, alcohol and pork.
Bekzat said Kusman Reshim, from Jimsar County in Xinjiang, had been detained for his religious beliefs and was released after Atajurt made his case public.
Kuzman’s younger brother Bilal, who lives in Kazakhstan, said his brother was detained on April 21, released a month later and then detained again on July 14.
“One of the reasons is that he recited the Qur’an at Muslim weddings,” Bilal said. “The second reason is that the police found a copy of the Koran in his home.”
He said the family has not received any formal notification of his brother’s detention, nor any information about his brother’s charges.
“They took him away,” he said.
On Thursday, a switchboard operator at the Jimsar County Public Security Bureau who answered the call refused to transfer a call from Radio Free Asia.
“We don’t really know this,” the operator said, before hanging up.
Multiple calls to the local police station returned to the same switchboard.
China recently announced a 100-day “Strike hard” campaign In Xinjiang, this often includes police raids on Uighur homes, stricter restrictions on Islamic practice, and restrictions on minority cultures and languages.
An elderly Uyghur man arrested in 2017 for studying religion as a child and committing other religious “crimes” is serving nearly 14 years in prison in Xinjiang Died of high blood pressure in prisonA local police officer said earlier this month.
According to the Xinjiang Victims Database, 71-year-old Abdul Surmamat was sentenced to 13 years and 11 months in prison for studying the Koran between November 1964 and March 1965.
In 2017, another Kazakh man, Manat Hamit, was jailed for “distributing audio-visual material related to terrorism” and “inciting racial hatred and racial discrimination” after authorities found Audio file of Quran recitation on his computer.
Translated by Louiseta Moody. Edited by Malcolm Foster.