China recruits Uyghurs to spy on their own while abroad: Report

“The Chinese government has separated us forever,” he said.

In order to threaten those members of the minority community who speak out against China, members of the Uyghur community are being forced by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on their own while abroad, according to media reports.

This was verified by Eysa Imin who was asked by the Chinese Security to spy on Uyghurs abroad. He went to Germany where he was awaiting the outcome of his asylum application but the story begins in Xinjiang, his hometown.

In 2015, when he returned from Malaysia to Xinjiang, he was stopped at the airport and was taken into a detention centre.

“On arrival at the airport, I was told to wait at passport control until everybody was gone. Then, two policemen pulled my jacket over my head so I could not see anything. They put me into a car and drove me away,” Imin said.

He added that he was taken into a room, and his arms and legs were then tied to a metal table. “They tightened the cuffs until I could not move. I was in this position for two days,” he said.

Imin was never told by the authorities what he was accused of but the papers say that he was suspected of “endangering state security”. He spent a month in detention but was released under one condition — he had to agree to work for the Chinese State security.

“I thought I would just say yes; stay in touch with them but I had no intention of working for them,” he said.

Imin said that he regularly met with an agent. However, he maintained that he never revealed any information on anyone. About one year later he was detained again and this time he was freed on a special request to spy on a young man in China.

Deciding to not return to China, he “went on a webcast with his story”. The agent called him and Imin said, “He (the agent) told me: ‘You decided to appear on the show (webcast) and talk but your family is here in China.’”

Since then, five of his family members have disappeared; five siblings have been arrested and his eldest brother was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

“The Chinese government has separated us forever,” he said.

Rahima Mahmut, an Uyghur activist said that “it is a very common thing” that Uyghurs are forced to spy overseas adding that “it has been a long history (that) China is trying to spy on any Uyghur living abroad.”

“The Chinese government accuse Uyghurs exiled communities (of) carrying out in their own version of terrorist activities… I know a lot of Uyghurs, they do not feel safe,” she added.