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My Travel Journal and Todays East Turkistan




I will always remember how angrily and strongly I had rejected what a film maker told me about Uyghurs before we left East Turkistan in 2001, at the end of our risky trip to China.

“Your people are dying, if I made a documentary the title will be requiem for Uyghurs. I didn’t see anything in here, except people who are slowly dying and disappearing from this world. I couldn’t see anything even tears of cry, but acceptance of slavery, weakness, numbness and being ready to be buried for forever… ”

“No! You are totally wrong!” I immediately cut the French filmmaker with my broken French as he didn’t speak English. “Vous ne comprenez pas mon peuple! Ils ne meurent pas, ils ne vont pas mourir et disparaissent!” (You don’t understand my people! They are not dying, they are not going to die and disappear! )

I was a rebellious young woman and my blood boiled with everything at that moment. The filmmaker, probably very scared of my outrageous eyes, shut his mouth and looked away.

But maybe he was right, Uyghurs are under tremendous pressure and it is impossible for them to even move slightly. Something inside me stubbornly rejected the reality and I strongly believed that my people will not accept slavery and slow death. I strongly believed that I would, one day, see how they can stand up against China, that one day I would see freedom. Maybe that was a hope that came from GOD, maybe that was my faith in my people, maybe both.

Eight years after the argument with the filmmaker, the outburst of the July 5th incident, brave uprising of Uyghur youths in East Turkistan against the red communist China’s oppressive policies proved and refreshed my memory and hope. Even though Uyghurs were crudely repressed and the uprising ended up with the death of thousands of Uyghurs, it left the Uyghurs’ souls alive once again — Uyghurs were not dying.

Today, compared to the situation that I wrote in my diary 15 years ago the situation in East Turkistan is much worse. Religion is strictly forbidden and new legislation was announced for the implementation of many restrictions. Parents are not allowed to teach children religion at home. Halal food logos are banned. Circumcision for Uyghur boys has been banned along with Islamic funeral ceremonies. Chinese market police crackdowns on the streets that I witnessed 15 years ago seems like a normal issue compared to how today, the Chinese army is regularly searching every Uyghur at midnight.

It is common to search only Uyghurs at police check points. They block the streets and search Uyghur homes at night in order to arrest young Uyghurs and spread terror. Some Uzbek friends who visited East Turkistan recently told me that it has been over two years that many Uyghurs are not dare to sleep with their pajamas at night, and put on their full clothes because of the night raids on their homes. I can’t imagine the trauma they have to endure every night. The people who opened Uyghur mother language daycare centers were arrested and all Uyghur daycare centers were shut down.

Many young and talented Uyghurs were arrested for no reason and mysteriously disappeared from the prison. However, it seems that is not enough for China as the Chinese government started pressurizing the families of Uyghur students abroad, forcing them to return. Many returned, but disappeared in reeducation camps that have been established by China for Uyghurs, bearing a striking resemblance to Nazi concentration camps in Germany before and during the Second World War.

Recently, students in Egypt who refused to return were rounded up by Egyptian police. While some escaped, dozens were repatriated and more than a hundred are still incommunicado in Egyptian jails. They were interrogated by Chinese police officials invited to Egypt and forced to confessions that they have contacts with some or the other terrorist organization from all around the world. Despite it being very obvious that China is orchestrating the Egyptian police round of Uyghurs, the Chinese consulate in Egypt is pretending that China has nothing to do with the issue.

The Chinese consulate also kept telling the world that there is no oppression in East Turkistan and they are only combating terrorism. Even Chinese officials said Xinjiang muslims ( East Turkistan Uyghurs) are happiest in world. Sadly, the Yarkand massacre in East Turkistan killed thousands of Uyghur civilians. Testing Chinese military drones in the name of catching terrorists in legitimate for China, but is it terrorism if a desperate and oppressed Uyghur man takes a Chinese official’s or a few Chinese police officers’ lives to get revenge for his dead children or raped wife?

To establish Chinese character and the new world order over US global leadership with the so called OBOR project, China is searching every nook and cranny to recruit follower governments. To gain their trust, it is acting deviously and hiding its own brutality.
 
As we all know, American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan has allowed the notorious CIA to torture Iraqi prisoners. Americans support the blocking democracy in the Middle East to get cheap oil from dictators, but the Middle East population hates the US global dominance. According to US poll agencies, Arab opinion in the Middle East seriously regards USA and Israel as the major threats they are countering. Approximately 80% of Egyptians strongly oppose the US policy. The success of China’s opportunistic steps to global dominance should be viewed against this background as well.

Besides, China’s economic rise allows it to expand its military spending and increase it aggressiveness with confidence. Meanwhile, the United States’ withdrawal from Asia under President Trump, the only power that can offset China, has turned on the green light for China to abuse human rights openly.
Distorting the history of East Turkistan, trying to hide its invasion in East Turkistan and the brutal oppression against the Uyghurs, are part of the cold reality created by China and welcomed with silence by the whole world.
I was lucky to be back safely maybe because China was less dangerous compared to what it was like in today.

Brave Canadian journalist Mr. Vander Klippe, who tried to visit the Elishku Township of Yarkand County of East Turkistan last week was detained by Chinese police and his computer was confiscated.

Mr.Usman A Khan Tahir, the senior editor of “Pakistan Today” may face to be seen as an Indian agent by some pro-China officials in Pakistan under pressure of Chinese consulate. As he trying to bring Uyghur voices to Pakistani media, in attempt to highlight their suffering.

Only the journalists like Mr. Vander Klippe and Mr.Usman A Khan Tahir are the brave voices today who dare to destroy China’s game of playing innocent regarding the oppression against Uyghurs. Emperor has no clothing, Journalists like them are the honest kid here who dare to tell the crowd that the emperor has no clothing.

It is not clear when the world will hear these voices and scream — “emperor has no clothing,” at least once and respond to the brutal truth, the truth that is much worse than what is in my travel journal.
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