'Disconnecting us from our ancestors': China accused of destroying dozens of Uighur cemeteries

Some Uighurs are accusing China of deliberately smashing and scattering the bones of their ancestors in cemeteries across the asian powerhouse's northwest.

10/10/2019 5:12:00 AM

China is being accused of deliberately eradicating the graves of generations of Uighurs after tombs belonging to the Muslim minority group were reportedly destroyed and bones removed from major sites

Some Uighurs are accusing China of deliberately smashing and scattering the bones of their ancestors in cemeteries across the asian powerhouse's northwest.

Share on TwitterChina is being accused of deliberately eradicating the graves of generations of Uighurs after tombs belonging to the Muslim minority group were reportedly destroyed and bones removed from major sites.Agence France Presse research combined with satellite imagery from Earthrise Alliance shows the removal of graves across a two year period.

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The official explanation for the clearing is urban development or simply the"standardisation" of old graves, but overseas Uighurs say its little more than the eradication of ethnic identity.Bones are discovered at the site where a Uighur cemetery once stood at Shayar in the region of Xinjiang.

AFPSalih Hudayar's grandparents were buried on a site that has since been torn up. He told The Telegraph UK it is having a devastating cultural impact on his people."That's why they're destroying all of these historical sites, these cemeteries, to disconnect us from our history, from our fathers and our ancestors," he said.

"This is all part of China's campaign to effectively eradicate any evidence of who we are, to effectively make us like the Han Chinese."In 2018, Uighur exile groups reported Chinese authorities had begun setting up “burial management centres” in a targeted effort to exert greater control over the private lives of the ethnic minority.

Work on a park is pictured where the Uighur cemetery in Kuche once stood.AFPSatellite imagery suggests the Chinese government has exhumed and cleared at least 45 Uighur cemeteries since 2014 - the vast majority of which have been exhumed in the past two years.

READ MORENurgul Sawut lives in Australia but has five generations of relatives who were buried in southwestern Xinjiang. She last travelled to the region in 2016 for her father's funeral."It is much deeper than (just religious persecution)," she told The Telegraph UK.

READ MOREUS blacklists 28 Chinese organisations over 'Uighur abuses' in Xinjiang"If you destroy that cemetery...you're uprooting whoever's on that land, whoever's connected to that land."China has rejected criticism on the issue and maintains there is no evidence of any human rights issues in the region.

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Hey but don’t worry lefties be like “oh whatubout the kurds!!!” But the Uighurs have been getting ethnically cleansed for last 5 years. Over 1million in concentration camps. fyi Echinanews chinaorgcn XHscitech Can you explain why such vandalism is occurring? Those lands have a history, a heritage which must be protected for all future generations. Like the temples & tombs in Syria or Turkey or Palestine. Uighur heritage is important also to all.

Careful SBS. China will cancel you.

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