A Uyghur police officer in China who was earlier said to have died by suicide was actually tortured to death, according to sources. Local authorities had earlier said that Nurmemet Yusup, who worked in the police department in Urumqi, had committed suicide in August but it has now been revealed that he was captured, tortured and beaten to death.
This is the latest in the series of Uyghur being brutally tortured and killed in China. However, the Chinese government has time and again denied it. The Chinese government had earlier said that Yusup had died during a police interrogation after he was arrested on suspicion of sympathizing with a criminal.
Yusup died in the first week of August, when Chinese authorities said that the exact cause of death wasn't immediately clear. Later, they said that Yusup committed suicide during an interrogation. However, in one of the most shocking development, sources now claim that the Uyghur police officer was tortured to death after his arrest.
Yusup worked at the Urumqi Horse Racing police station in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi (in Chinese, Wulumuqi). In late July, he was arrested on suspicion of sympathizing with a criminal when he previously worked in a "re-education" camp. According to Radio Free Asia, the charges against Yusup were weird. He was said to have "wiped vomited blood from the face of a camp detainee," said the source who declined to be named.
Initially, Chinese authorities tried to suppress the entire incident but later told that he died by suicide. The source now claims that Yusup's death was a cold blooded murder and his torturer has since been disciplined.
Silencing Uyghur Community
The source also said that Yusup was tortured only because he was a Uyghur and the charges against him are baseless. This is the reason, authorities tried to keep his death a state secret. Also, a special notice was issued to officers to not disclose the cause and manner of Yusup's death.
"We know this case, but this is a state secret," the source told the outlet. "We can't tell you anything about this."
A local official identified one of Yusup's interrogators as a police officer named Hamit. The source said that he was disciplined by the police department for excessive use of force during questioning. RFA called the Ulanbay, Qarlighachliq and Horse Racing police stations and asked for information about Hamit.
Hamit was summoned to his police station on the same night Yusup died in custody. Hamit was initially asked to remain on duty but later asked to return home. He wasn't told about Yusup's situation while at the station.
"After that, we received a notice from the Urumqi Police Department that any information related to that night was not meant to be revealed and should be kept secret," the police officer said.
Hamit, according to an officer from the Urumqi Police Department, was one of the interrogators when Yusup died.
Yusup's death once again shows the ongoing treatment being meted out to the Uyghur community in China and the torture they are being subject to. The U.S. and parliaments in several European countries have called the treatment of Uyghurs and others in Xinjiang a genocide and a crime against humanity.
However, the Chinese government has time and again turned a deaf ear to it and has denied allegations of torture and death.