More than 1 million Uighurs have disappeared into China’s internment camps in Xinjiang province. A DW investigation reveals how many of them were tried for their alleged “crimes” in sham trials.
In the Chinese government’s vast network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province, the daily horror of internment was infused with monotony and boredom. Detainees were forced to endure countless hours of indoctrination and language classes, perched on small stools. In some facilities, they had to watch TV propaganda broadcasts praising President Xi Jinping for hours on end.
This bill imposes sanctions on foreign individuals and entities responsible for human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region and requires various reports on the topic.
The President shall periodically report to Congress a list identifying foreign individuals and entities responsible for such human rights abuses. The President shall impose (1) property-blocking sanctions on the identified individuals and entities, and (2) visa-blocking sanctions on the identified individuals.
As more than a million Uyghurs are believed to be interned in the re-education camps in Xinjiang, many Uyghur youths around the world have lost contact with their family members for more than two years now. On Mother’s Day, they sent a collective message to the world and the Chinese government, demanding the immediate release of their moms.
Ziba Murat has not heard anything about her mom for more than 20 months. The last time they talked on the phone, her mom shared some tips about childcare with her. “The last message she sent me was ‘when the baby sleeps, you should get some rest too,’” Murat said.
That message was sent on September 10, 2018, and from then on, Murat’s mother never responded to any messages or calls from her. Her mother, Gulshan Abbas, was a medical doctor who had to retire early due to health reasons. And since her disappearance, Murat and her aunt, Rushan Abbas, have been tirelessly advocating for her mother’s forced disappearance.
“My aunt has been advocating for her for more than 20 months,” said Murat. “We are getting nothing from the Chinese government, so it frustrates me and seems to be reminding me that I’m not doing enough. That’s why I’m stepping up my advocacy for her.”
A Chinese Han, who happens to physically look like a Uyghur, opens a window on the relationships between the Han majority and the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang and beyond. – By Michelle Lee
Interacting with Uyghur friends
Growing up in an autonomous region of China, a Chinese Han whom I would call JiaNan Li (he prefers his real name not to be mentioned), never thought much of having classmates who were from ethnic minorities. “I was born in the 1980s, and even then, there weren’t many of them compared to Han Chinese” he says. “But I always had the overall impression that each of the minority groups was special.”
Abdulhakim Idris is a human rights activist and the husband of the well-known advocate for Uyghurs’ rights, Rushan Abbas. He does not know where his mother is.
by Abdulhakim Idris
Mr. Idris’ mother, Ms. Hebibehan Hajim
It was April 25, 2017, when I last heard your voice.
Today, it has been 1095 days. 3 years since our last phone conversation. I remember your trembling voice when you told me not to call you anymore.