East Turkestan-Torture, threat, death and long endless journeys

East Turkestan-Torture, threat, death and long endless journeys

Imagine knowing that one of your family members is in jail for nothing. Without having done anything wrong. Facing unimaginable torture. And all you can do is casually living on your life from hundreds miles away from where they are, as if nothing is going on. Keep on going to school and work and just hope that they are doing fine.

This is the state most of the uyghurs are in right now. This is the state I am in right now.

In Mars last year my cousin came to Turkey to meet me and my family for the third time and hopefully not the last. My dad went there to meet her but I could unfortunately not come along because of my school. Now I regret not skipping school to go there because now my cousin is gone. When she went back to East Turkestan, she suspiciously disappeared at the airport. The only information we got was that she was put in jail. And right after her, her dad, her half brother and my uncle disappeared too. Are they really in jail? If yes, when will they get out? But most importantly: Are they still alive?

This is not something happening only in my family. This is happening all uyghurs I know. Everyone living outside East Turkestan has at least one family member who has disappeared. The worst part is that we cant even contact anyone to ask if they are fine. If we do that, they will get even more punished. So it’s better to just keep silent and again, just keep on living and hope that they are okay.

An uyghur man, Abdurahman Hasan, in Turkey went out to the social medias and told the Chinese government to kill his 68 years old mother and his 22 years old wife. He even said that he would pay for the bullet. His mother and wife was taken to a nazi concentration camp and he got information about how badly they were treated every day. The reason he said that was because he couldn’t accept the fact that his loved ones were getting tortured in such a horrible way, so he thought: Death is surely more pleasant for them than this torture so this was all he could do.

This man had the courage to say this but everyone is not as brave as him. Some uyghurs who live overseas, get blackmailed and ordered to spy on other uyghurs and give the chinese government information about them. They get told that if they don’t do it, their family back home will get tortured or killed.

Two years ago, I went to an Uyghur Youth Camp and I was given the opportunity to interview a girl who had been through a really tough journey from East Turkestan all the way to The Netherlands.

Her, her mom and her little sister had come to the point where they had to leave the country immediately because of the oppression they were facing. Their journey started with escaping to Malaysia. Starting from here they got joined by other refugees who hid with them in a little basement there for three months without seeing the sunlight. After three months passed by, they got to come out and continue their journey by all sitting on small motorbikes with at least three people on one bike. They drove through high and dangerous mountains for many days.

The girl told me that there were four people sitting on one motorbike. One woman with her child on her lap and two others. The ground was uneven and had cracks which made the motorbike bump and right at that point the woman lost her grip of her child and the child fell down the mountain. They could not stop and help the child because they were too high up so it would be impossible. Therefore the only thing they could do was keep on going.

“You can just imagine in what condition the woman was in after that” was what the girl said to me.

The thing is we can’t imagine how she was after that. We can’t imagine what kind of situations they are facing. We just can’t. Because what they are going through is unimaginable.

I am not standing here and talking about this today because I want you to pity me or my uyghurs. I am saying this because my cousin, my uncle, Abdurahman Hasan and this girl I just told you about, they deserve to be known. The uyghurs deserve to be known. I am telling you about this because we need more attention.

We need to be seen