"It broke my heart." Sadam has no idea what's happened to his wife and two-year-old son.

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.

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Sadam Abudusalamu's wife, Nadila, and their two-year-old son Lufty. Image: Network Ten.

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.”


He further explained that it is too dangerous for him to attempt to fly over and help his wife and son.

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Almas Nizamidin (left) and Sadam Abudusalamu (right) appeared on The Project on Tuesday night. Image: Network Ten.

Waleed Aly later asked: "Sadam, do you feel like you shouldn't be talking to us?"

"No, I have to speak out, I’ve got nothing to lose anymore. Even if I don’t speak out nothing is going to change. So I have to speak out," Abudusalamu responded.

"The last two years it's been so tough... and right now I just heard this message, it just broke my heart."

Abudusalamu went on to say that despite receiving his Australian citizenship in February this year, he has not received the assistance he needs from the Australian Government. Abudusalamu explained that he thinks China being "our biggest trade partner" is the reason for this.

"I'm living in Australia but I feel like I'm under the Chinese Government pressure. I feel like being a Muslim is a crime at the moment. I shouldn't feel this way. I shouldn't feel this way."

Waleed Aly was left not knowing how to respond.

"Sadam and Almas, I don’t know, ordinarily I'd try to find something I could say to console you. I have nothing," Aly told the two men.

"There’s nothing I can say at this point except that we’re watching, we will watch with interest, I hope that it turns out in a way that’s far from the worst of the possibilities here.

"I commend you on your bravery for speaking up and thank you very much for speaking to us tonight."


Watch The Project's response to Sadam Abudusalamu's story here. Post continues after video.

Video by Network 10

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a statement to The Project: "DFAT continues to provide consular assistance” to Mr Abudusalamu.

"It is important to note that China does not provide consular access to dual nationals."

Four Corners' journalist Sophie McNeill has since reported that Sadam's wife has been released.

Australia is one of 22 countries who have signed a UN Human Rights Council letter which asks the Chinese Government to "end its mass arbitrary detentions and related violations against Muslims in the Xinjiang region".

You can watch ABC's Four Corner's episode on the Xinjiang crisis here.

You can see The Project's full interview with Sadam Abudusalamu on 10Play.