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An Australian Uyghur baby, trapped in Xinjiang

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Megha Rajagopalan, one of the journalists who has done most to uncover the atrocities being committed in Xinjiang, has a new story on BuzzFeed about an 18-month-old Uyghur Australian citizen. He is “trapped in China, and his father in Sydney fears he will be taken away from his mother and sent to a state-run orphanage unless he can find a way to get him out of the country.”

  • The baby boy was granted Australian citizenship on February 4, after his father went through a Kafkaesque nightmare with Australia’s immigration bureaucracy.
  • His mother, who unlike his father remains a Chinese citizen, “was detained by Chinese authorities shortly after she gave birth in August 2017,” but was released a few days later because she was breastfeeding her son.
  • The clock is ticking: According to a statement from the father, identified as “S” to the Australian government body, “which oversaw S.’s citizenship appeal for his son, S.’s wife was informed on her release from detention ‘that once the child was one year old, she would be returned to detention and most likely the son will be put in a holding camp for children, given a Han Chinese name, and adopted out to a Han Chinese family.’”
  • “At least 17 Uyghurs who have permanent resident status in Australia are thought to be in internment camps, under house arrest, or in prison in China,” according to the BuzzFeed article, citing a Guardian report from earlier this month.
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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.