An Uyghur woman who had escaped from a hospital in China after she was asked to terminate her pregnancy, as per China’s family planning policy for ethnic minorities, has died in prison, according to a media report.

Citing an Uyghur who lives in exile and a village police officer, Radio Free Asia reported that Zeynebhan Memtimin, who was ordered by Chinese authorities to abort her pregnancy in 2014 had fled the hospital in Yutian county in Hotan (Hetian) prefecture where the procedure was to take place.

The RFA report said that Memtimin was taken forcefully from the Arish village to a hospital for the abortion and the sources in Xinjiang also confirmed the fact that Memtimin escaped from the hospital to save her unborn child.

In 2017, the Chinese authorities arrested Memtimin and her husband, Metqurban Abdulla, who helped her in escaping from prison, in an internment camp on the charges of “disturbing the social order” and “religious extremism” for avoiding abortion, according to RFA citing Uyghur in exile.

A police officer in Arish village said that both were sentenced to prison for 10 years. He said, “They were sentenced to 10 years in prison and were serving their terms in Keriye Prison.”

The police official further said that Memtimin was 40 years old and she died due to the illness caused by having multiple births in prison. “Since she had multiple births, it’s natural that she died from illness,” he said.

The Uyghur source said that the contacts in the region and a former neighbour confirmed that Memtimin died in 2020.

According to Uyghur source, the woman’s funeral was conducted under Chinese supervision, and Chinese authorities tried to not disclose the reason for her death to her family and also did not provide any details about Memtimin’s husband.

Regarding this matter, the Chinese authorities in Yutian county declined to comment.

In 2014, RFA’s Uyghur Service reported that Abdulla agreed to pay for the fine for the fourth childbirth but Chinese authorities were determined and forced her to terminate her pregnancy.
According to an Uyghur source in exile, 70 per cent of the Uyghurs in Arish village, were arrested and detained in 2017 for allegedly engaging in illegal religious activities and about 10 per cent were arrested for violating family planning policies.

The Chinese authorities’ implemented the population control measures for the Uyghurs as part of the crackdown that began in 2017.

On one side where Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi assuring that Beijing would look after the interests of Muslim nations but in reality, the picture is completely different.
Since 2017, the Chinese government has detained about 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in hundreds of “re-education camps” in Xinjiang. An effort to prevent possible religious extremism and terrorism had led to “terror capitalism” – a system that justifies oppression by branding Uyghurs a security threat to generate state investment in policing and surveillance technologies to monitor and control them. (ANI)