There’s only a few times Waleed Aly has been lost for words while co-hosting The Project. Last night was one of them, after interviewing an Australian man whose wife has been reportedly detained overseas.
Sadam Abudusalamu’s wife, Nadila, and their son Lufty, have been caught up in the Uyghur crisis in Xinjiang China for two years. Due to this, Sadam has never met his son, who is also an Australian citizen.
Sadam and his family are Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority who speak their own language similar to Turkish. An estimated one million of them have been detained by the Chinese Government in “re-education” camps.
On Monday night, Four Corners reported on the Xinjiang conflict and featured Sadam Abudusalamu’s story as the Australian citizen spoke out against the Chinese Government.
Less than 24 hours later, he learnt his wife had been arrested. He is unaware of where his two-year-old son Lufty is.
He learnt of his wife's situation just hours before appearing on The Project on Tuesday night, alongside his friend Almas Nizamidin who is in a similar situation. He believes his wife's arrest is due to the Four Corners episode.
"To be honest I don’t know what to say now — I told ABC this is going to happen, and it’s exactly happening just because I am speaking out," Abudusalamu told The Project panel.
"[At] 3.30[pm] Sydney time they just took my wife, and two-year-old baby, I don’t know where he is now.
"She just sent me a message, police just called me, if I can’t come out, please take care of yourself.”