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>> Talk to a Uighur outside China and they'll likely have a relative missing, a husband, a sister, a son. For Maripet, living in exile in Istanbul, she doesn't know she'll ever see her four young kids again. All under the age of eight, they're believed lost in China's Muslim crackdown.
According to the UN, as many as one million Muslims have been detained, held in Chinese interment camps like these in the country's western region of Xinjiang. Most of those locked up are Uighurs. Former detainees have told Reuters they face torture and a brutal daily regime of communist indoctrination.
Accusations rejected by China who call the re-education camps vocational training centers, a place of rehabilitation and redemption. Human rights groups and relatives say Uighur children are being sent to orphanages, and their young minds reset. Meripet came to Turkey last year to look after her sick father. She left four of her children with her mother-in-law in Xinjiang.
Her children were taken and her mother-in-law jailed by local authorities. Months later, she heard they were in this orphanage in
>> They don't have any freedom. They are severely restricted. They will be experiencing physical and psychological trauma. If my kids grow up in this kind of environment, what kind of people will they become?
>> Meripet has seen one picture of her children in eight months. If the family returned to China, they'll be arrested. They can't reach any of their family members, and believe they're all in detention.>> Where are they? Where are they sleeping? Where are they waking up and what are they doing?
Can they eat their food? If they are sick, what will happen to them? I think of these things every day.>> With a large Uighur population, groups hold regular demonstrations here in Turkey. But despite being far away in Istanbul, many here are still too afraid to speak openly about their experiences.