No one knows what happened to a Uighur student after he returned to China from Egypt and was taken by police.
The neighbors in his village in the western tip of China do not know where he is, and they have not seen him for some month. Former classmates also do not know and they fear the Chinese authorities have beaten him to death.
His mother also does not know, who lives in a two-story house at the end of a street, alone behind a wall that retains the sand-desert sunlight. He opened the door late one afternoon to an impromptu visit of Associated Press journalists, who showed him a photograph of a handsome young man in a park, and one hand pointed upward.
"Yes, that's it," said the mother while tears pouring down his face. "This is the first time I've heard anything about him in seven months, what happened?" He asked about his son.
"Was he dead or alive?"
The student friends thought he had joined thousands, possibly tens of thousands of people, according to the estimates of human rights organizations and lecturers, without trial to a secret detention camp for alleged political crimes ranging from perceived extremist thinking to the extent of traveling or studying abroad. The mass disappearance, which began last year, is part of a massive attempt by Chinese authorities to use data-based detention and surveillance to enforce digital police surveillance in the Xinjiang region and its Uighur ethnicity, the Turkish-speaking Turkish minority of 10 million, which the Chinese word has been influenced by Islamic extremism. [gp]