More than one million Iugures (an ethnic group living in the northwestern regions of the People’s Republic of China), are trapped in so-called Xinjiang re-education camps.
11 hours of “study” have to do with total indoctrination, in addition to other punishments, according to the story of a woman who was confined to one of those places, accused of having raised a terrorist: her daughter.
“Although there are no chains in that school, the conditions are extremely difficult. They sit us in a classroom for eleven hours a day. We took classes in Chinese, law, politics and Chinese history. With exams every Friday. We had to memorize patriotic songs and internal regulations “.
It is the testimony of Gulbahar Haitiwaji, a survivor of this kind of forced ideological reconditioning. The evidence that weighed against him, such as to go to that place, were as scarce as the conditions of those trapped in this fort.
“They told me that my husband was a terrorist and that he had raised terrorist girls. As a Chinese citizen, I had the responsibility, they said. They accused me of having a terrorist daughter and of not having raised her well ”.
On the latter, they had a photograph of their daughter Gulhumar at a demonstration of the Iugur diaspora in the Trocadero square in Paris.
But how was it possible for a mother to go to that place in such conditions? It was on a trip to his native China, without a return ticket.
They flew, on different occasions with her husband, who has French nationality. He refused to provide information on the activities of his ethnic group in France.
“I think China put me through all this to get revenge on my husband. Because when we returned to China together, in 2012 and 2014, my husband, who has French nationality, was required to provide the Chinese authorities with information about the Uighur community in France. And he refused to do it. ”
When she stepped on Chinese soil, and the vendetta was carried out, she spent 4 months in prison before applying the induction and injection of fidelity to her country.
“I saw many young women stop menstruating”
In a matter of hours, Gulbahar Haitiwaji, went from one prison to another. The conditions for the million people of his ethnic group, contrary to Chinese policies, were extreme.
“They fed us no better than in prison. There were neon lights on day and night and surveillance cameras everywhere. Conditions were as bad as in prison. Even to go to the bathroom we had to comply with the schedules ”.
Odes to the Chinese Communist Party were on the menu of ideology, in full shortage of adequate food and other fundamental rights. Instead, they were to repeat and repeat gratitude to the Asian nation.
“I still remember them very well. Before each meal, before each class, we were to recite our thanks to Greater China, the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping ”.
They were prohibited from communicating in their native language, practicing their faith and assimilating, ideologically, through repetitions, that the great nation is made up of what is imposed. The testimony is one of the few that have come to light since 2017, when it became known about the existence of these “re-education” camps.
The punishment for women was “exemplary.” Many of them had traveled to Turkey, which was an affront. Others wore a veil. Even having family abroad was part of what was considered a reason for a stay in the Chinese re-education system.
The worst was when they had to go against their own biological nature. They were supposedly vaccinated against the flu. At least that’s what a nurse told them.
“They gave us injections twice a year. I saw many young women stop menstruating. It was very worrying because they wanted to have children later. At the time I was suspicious, but had no proof. When I returned to France I found out that they had revealed the existence of massive sterilizations in Xinjiang “.
In the interview, published by the BioBiochile partner RFI, it is also reported that researcher Adrien Zenz had already reported the situation applied in various doses to women of the Iugur ethnic group. It was a sterilization campaign for their women, because they were considered “baby-making machines.”
Haitiwaji confirms in a single sentence when answering if they were subjected to forced sterilization: “Of course they were.”
On December 23, 2018, I was transferred from the re-education camp to a second prison. They put chains on my feet, handcuffs on my wrists and a hood on my head. There I thought they were going to execute me. After 30 minutes of travel, we arrived at the prison. They took off my hood and shaved my hair. I was desperate because I felt like I would never get out of that nightmare. My situation had worsened.
– Gulbahar Haitiwaji. Victim in Chinese reeducation camp.
Since her imprisonment in 2018, it was French diplomacy that managed to get her out of that place. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took charge of pressing for his release. A year was enough to know what he tells today, even in a book. “Shout your truth.”
I wanted to reveal what these fields were to everyone. Nothing I tell is exaggerated. I only say what I have lived. Someday the truth will come out and I hope my book will help the Uighur cause.
He is concerned about his mother and siblings who still live in Iugur. The only access to contact them is the WeChat app. He does it once every 7 days, when a breathing cycle is completed with relief in knowing that they have not fallen into the reeducation camp, like hundreds of thousands of their peers.