The Xinjiang issue is mired in controversy. In an interview with CNN, a woman named Mihrigul Tursun had claimed one of her three children was killed by the Chinese government. She also said she was imprisoned at an education and training center in Xinjiang. But as CGTN's Cui Hui'ao found out, none of what she said was true.
"My grandson is now in Egypt. He is alive"
Joyous words from the mother of Mihrigul Turson, a Uyghur woman who said on CNN that one of her three children died in an Urumqi hospital. During the interview, Turson said she was separated from her triplets at the Urumqi airport and held in custody. After her release, she says she was told that her son died following an operation.
CUI HUI'AO URUMQI, XINJIANG UYGUR AUTONOMOUS REGION "This is Urumqi Children's Hospital where Mihrigul Tursun claims one of her triplets died, a claim that the hospital adamantly denies."
Doctor Li Xuexiong has worked at Urumqi Children's Hospital for thirty years. He says records show only Mihrigul's son named Moez received treatment at the hospital, between January and November of 2016. Twice for pneumonia and once for a hernia.
LI XUEXIONG, DIRECTOR MEDICAL DEPARTMENT, URUMQI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHN-MALE "Moez's respiration system was infected, so we decided not to give him surgery. After we cured him, Mihrigul's mother took Moez out of the hospital on November 8th, 2016."
Meanwhile, according to exit and entry records, all of Mihrigul's children, Mohaned, Elina and Moez left China after 2016.
"Mihrigul and one of her sons left China in January, 2016. Her other son and daughter left China in April 2018 and they did not reenter the country."
A thousand kilometers from Urumqi, Qiemo county is where Mihrigul's parents and brother live.
"This photo was brought back by Mihrigul in July 2016. Her son is in Egypt now, being raised by my son-in-law's sister."
With evidence proving that Mihrigul's children are alive, the questions are: why would she lie to CNN and how did she end up telling these lies at a US congressional hearing?
CUI HUI'AO QIEMO COUNTY, XINJIANG UYGUR AUTONOMOUS REGION "When was the last time you and your family spoke to Mihrigul? What did she respond?"
"Her last Wechat message to us was sent on November 11th 2018. She said somebody was threatening her. Now she cannot come back to China, nor can she stay in America."
Not only did Mihrigul fabricate the story about her child's death, she also made accusations about China's education and training center in Xinjiang. She claims she was jailed and tortured, and she saw fellow prisoners die in detention.
"My sister has never been to the education and training center. She made that up. It was a lie."
Both Mihrigul's brother and mother say they are deeply worried about her condition in the US. China's Foreign Ministry says it has received numerous requests from international media on individual cases like Mihrigul's. Each time, the ministry contacted authorities in Xinjiang to verify relevant information.
"We hope our efforts can help them know and report the current situation in Xinjiang in a more objective and just manner. These reports on individual cases were proven to be false time and time again."
China has been actively working to counter terrorism and extremism. Hua says people in Xinjiang now have a stronger sense of security, happiness and fulfillment. Lies by people like Mihrigul don't appear to be changing that. Cui Hui'ao, CGTN, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.