The Uyghurs are a Muslim minority living in the Xinjiang region of China, who are being targeted in what has been termed as a “cultural genocide” by human rights activists.

SKT Welfare is working with the Uyghur Muslim refugee community in Turkey to help them rebuild their lives, providing support where possible. We are looking to support communities with food, housing, clothing, education and employment.

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Uyghur Muslims

Over the last few years, thousands of Uyghur Muslims from China have fled to safety in Turkey. They have escaped persecution, intense surveillance, imprisonment and abuse.

The Uyghurs are a Muslim minority living in the Xinjiang region of China, who are being targeted in what has been termed as a “cultural genocide” by human rights activists.

Widespread surveillance has been reported in the Xinjiang area since authorities misleadingly collected DNA from Uyghur Muslims in 2017, for what people thought was a mandatory health check-up. In reality this was done to facilitate high level surveillance and also to justify racial profiling and discrimination. Not long after that point, hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims were detained and sent to “re-education camps”. Why? Because they are Muslim.

China is cracking down on Islam, using a strong hand to force Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region to assimilate through their “re-education” camps.

Men have been forcibly arrested on the streets, homes broken into and families torn apart. At least one million Uyghur men, women and even children have been detained and been subject to huge degrees of abuse, discrimination and torture.

These “re-education” camps are labelled as “vocational training centres”, places designed to weed out extremism and provide people with a range of innovative, new skills. The truth is far more horrifying. These are not “vocational training centres”, these are concentration camps.

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Stories of torture

Stories of torture, forced medical experiments and rape are coming to light, and the atrocities don’t end there. The Uyghur people are being physically and psychologically tortured in Xinjiang and being stripped of their religion freedom. Muslim detainees are forced to drink alcohol, eat pork products and are prevented from having any ties to Islam whatsoever.

Former detainee, Orynbek Koksybek, shared his experience at one of these “re-education” camps with the BBC, saying, " I spent seven days of hell there...My hands were handcuffed, my legs were tied. They threw me in a pit. I raised both my hands and looked above. At that moment, they poured water. I screamed. I don't remember what happened next. I don't know how long I was in the pit but it was winter and very cold. They said I was a traitor…

Over the last few years, thousands of Uyghurs have managed to escape China and are seeking refuge in Turkey. There are over 60,000 Uyghurs currently living in Turkey.

SKT Welfare is working with the Uyghur Muslim refugee community in Turkey to help them rebuild their lives, providing support where possible. We are looking to support communities with food, housing, clothing, education and employment.

Donate now to support Uyghur refugees in Turkey

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Our 100% donation policy means that every penny you donate is used in the delivery of humanitarian projects and directly related costs. Indirect and administrative costs are covered by either direct donations themselves or by using Gift Aid.