We are extremely indignant about and strongly opposed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's accusation that the family members of some Uyghur activists got harassed, said a spokesperson of the government of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
On Tuesday, Pompeo said that the Chinese government harassed, imprisoned, or arbitrarily detained, family members of three Uyghur activists and some others in Xinjiang in a statement titled "Harassment of the Family Members of Uighur Activists and Survivors in Xinjiang, China."
This is simply not the case, said the spokesperson, and the family members of the said three activists live and work normally in Xinjiang.
For example, the mother of Furkhat Jawdat, one of the activists mentioned by Pompeo, has been living a normal life at her home and in contact with her son at times, though Jawdat claimed his mother was moved to a prison from a vocational education and training center after meeting with Pompeo on March 26, 2019, the spokesperson said.
As for Alfred Erkin, the activist alleged that his mother was put into a "concentration camp" at the end of 2017 and his father "was arrested and sentenced in March 2018." However, the reality is that his father was sentenced because of his involvement in terrorist activities, while his mother, younger brother and younger sister all live a normal life, according to the spokesperson.
In Pompeo's statement, Zumrat Dawut's elderly father, who was reportedly detained and interrogated multiple times by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang in recent years, recently passed away under unknown circumstances. But the fact is that the elderly man, who had a serious heart disease, died at the age of 80 in a hospital last month, said the spokesperson.
Facts speak louder than words. We strongly urge Pompeo to stop smearing and attacking Xinjiang with rumors, said the spokesperson.