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China sentences five women from Uyghur family to long prison terms over 'illegal religious activity'

ANI | Updated: Jan 22, 2022 18:33 IST

Beijing [China], January 22 (ANI): A Xinjiang court sentenced five Muslim Uyghur women from one family to lengthy jail terms for "illegal" religious activities, a media report said.
The five women -- an elderly mother, her three daughters, and her daughter-in-law -- received jail terms of between seven and 20 years, according to the document from the Korla (in Chinese, Kuerle) Municipal People's Court. Korla is the second-largest city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The eldest of the five Uyghur women, Halcham Pazil, is 78 years old, and the youngest, Bostan Ibrahim, is 33. Four of the women are housewives and one is a civil servant.
The verdict issued on April 2, 2019, indicates that the charges against them were brought by the Korla Municipal Procuratorate.

The women were convicted by the court of "disturbing public order and inciting ethnic hatred" for "hearing and providing a venue for illegal religious preaching," RFA reported citing a copy of the verdict.
"We were all relatives," said Halchigul Memet, mentioned in the verdict as having led the five women during the religious gatherings. Memet confirmed to RFA that she was related to the five imprisoned women.
"I mean they were all direct relatives, and I was like a relative to them and them to me," said Memet from Turkey.
"We used to go to each household regularly on a weekly or biweekly basis," said Memet emphasizing that they never had political or anti-government talks. "We only talked about how to improve our well-being and our family's well-being and how to be traditionally good Muslims," she added. (ANI)