SYDNEY, Australia: Police in China’s far-western Xinjiang region are still questioning the wife of an Australian man interviewed on Four Corners last week, despite Beijing saying it would assist Australia’s efforts to reunite the family.
Sadam Abudusalamu has been separated from his wife Nadila Wumaier and their young son Lutfy, who is an Australian citizen, since they were caught up in China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
It is estimated that more than 1 million Uyghurs are currently being detained in ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang, while those not detained have had their passports taken away, making it impossible for them to leave China.
Under these policies, Abudusalamu has not seen his wife in two years, and he has never met son Lutfy, who will turn two next month.
After Abudusalamu spoke out about his family’s predicament on Four Corners, police in Xinjiang took Nadila away for questioning. Beijing later said it would offer “necessary assistance”, after Australia formally requested Nadila and Lutfy be allowed to leave the country.
“They forced (her) to sign some papers, it’s been really tough for her — she’s really scared, she’s really worried,” he said.
“Every day she’s telling me ‘what am I going to do if I lose my son, what am I going to do if I lose you?’”
Abudusalamu said police had told Nadila they wanted him to stop advocating for her and Lutfy, but he said that was not going to happen.
Abudusalamu, as well as fellow Uyghur Australian Almas Nizamidin, are meeting with federal politicians today at Parliament House to ask about speeding-up efforts to bring their families to Australia.
They are being supported by Amnesty International Australia and former Socceroos captain and broadcaster Craig Foster.
The two were due to meet Immigration Minister David Coleman, officials from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office, and a number of other senior politicians from both the major parties.