China is destroying Muslim graveyards where generations of Uighur families have been laid to rest, leaving behind human bones and broken tombs in what activists call an effort to eradicate the ethnic group’s identity in Xinjiang.
In just two years, dozens of cemeteries have been destroyed in the northwest region, according to an AFP investigation with satellite imagery analysts Earthrise Alliance.
Some of the graveyards have been turned into car parks and even playgrounds, as the pictures show.
Others were cleared with little care. In Shayar county, AFP journalists saw unearthed human bones left discarded in three sites. In other sites. tombs that were reduced to mounds of bricks lay scattered in cleared tracts of land.
Satellite images were taken on 24th April 2018 (left) and 30th September 2019 (right) show the Sulanim cemetery in Hotan, north-western China’s Xinjiang Province, has been knocked down and replaced with a car park. Beijing has destroyed dozens of Muslim burial grounds in the past two years in what activists call a bid to erase Uighurs’ identity, an investigation has shown
The images appeared as Xinjiang authorities this week claimed their officials were carrying out ‘normal’ tasks after shocking footage purported to show hundreds of shackled and blindfolded Muslim prisoners being transferred.
Satellite images from 29th August 2017 (top) shows a cemetery (central) and the same view on 5th July 2019 (bottom) shows no sign of the facility in Xayar, Xinjiang province. The pictures appeared after shocking footage last month purported to show hundreds of shackled and blindfolded Muslim prisoners being transferred to a re-education center in the far-flung region.