China’s Genocide Against Uyghurs (Uyghur Camp Survivors Speak Out)
January 21 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Hear from three Uyghurs in the diaspora who speak out to be the voice of those voiceless and defenseless Uyghurs back home and what you can do to stop China’s crimes against humanity.
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Saturday, January 21 | MCC Conference Room or watch virtually at mcceastbay.org/live
Sponsored by Uyghur Foundation, MCA Bay Area, Tarbiya Institute & Uyghur American Association
Millions of Uyghurs are suffering from unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Chinese government, including forced sterilization of young women, enforced separation of families and placement of children in state orphanages, and the mass detention of more than one million people since 2017 in detention camps and forced labor camps.
Uyghurs were also being transferred to factories in China proper and used as modern-day slaves. Uyghurs in the diaspora speak out to be the voice of those voiceless and defenseless Uyghurs back home. Why is China trying to annihilate Uyghurs? What can we do to stop China’s genocide of the Uyghurs?
Tursunay Ziyawudun is a former Uyghur detainee from one of the concentration camps in Ghulja, China. She was taken there in April 2017 and was released after a few months due to severe health problems, but she was detained in March 2018 for a second time. Due to her Kazakh husband’s and the Kazakhstan government’s help, she was released from the camp in December 2018, and she was allowed to go to Kazakhstan to be reunited with her husband in 2019. She is continuing her fight for justice here in the US.
Mihrigul Tursun is a reported former Uyghur detainee from Xinjiang, China. After immigrating to the United States in 2018, Tursun said that she was taken into the custody of Chinese authorities several times, including being imprisoned at one of a network of political “re-education camps” for Uyghurs, subject to torture, and that one of her sons died while she was in the custody of Chinese authorities in 2015. Her story was widely reported in international media. In 2019 Hua Chunying of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China denied Tursun’s allegations and gave the Ministry’s own account of events.
Zumret Dawut was born and raised in Urumqi. Working as a shuttle trader between Urumqi and Pakistan, she got married to Pakistani businessman Imran Muhemmed in 2005. The couple have three children together.
Zumret’s passport was confiscated sometime in 2017.
On March 31, 2018, she was called by the local neighborhood administration, after which she was taken to the local police station for questioning. Fixed to a tiger chair, she would then be interrogated about her marriage to a Pakistani and her bank transfers with Pakistan.
She would then be hooded and taken to the Beyzen (北站) “training center”, where she would spend around 2 months, being released on June 2 thanks to negotiations by Pakistani diplomats on her husband’s behalf.
Though she intended to leave the country immediately with her husband and kids, she was first forced to pay a 18000RMB fine for her third child being born “outside the plan”. She was then further required to undergo sterilization to be permitted to leave the country. On October 22, 2018, she underwent the procedure in a local facility (previously an epidemic prevention center).
In late January 2019, the family could finally leave for Pakistan – to see Imran’s sick father – on the condition that they return by February 27. Fearing for their safety, they went to the US on April 2, 2019, instead of applying for asylum there.
Elnigar Iltebir moderates the discussion. Elnigar Iltebir (Uighur: ئەلنىگار ئىلتەبىر; born 1984) is a United States-based Uyghur politician and activist. The Trump administration appointed her as Director for China in the United States National Security Council in August 2019.
Elnigar Iltebir was born in Ürümqi, Xinjiang in 1984. In 1992, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey with her family and lived there until she completed her high school education in Kabataş Erkek Lisesi. In February 2000, her family moved to the United States.
Iltebir is the daughter of Ablikim Baqi Iltebir, who is a well-known Uyghur writer and journalist. The elder Iltebir worked as a middle school teacher, was the chief editor in “Tengritagh Journal” and vice-president of “Urumchi Art Union” in Urumchi, and worked for Radio Free Asia from February 2000 to August 2017. Ablikim Baqi Iltebir died on August 8, 2019 at the age of 68.