Free my mother from the concentration camp in China!
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My name is Gulhumar, I am 26 years old and a French national. Here is my story:
In November 2016, my mother received a phone call from her former boss in China asking her to return to China to sign documents to receive her pension. After having hesitated for one week and having been pressured by her former boss, my mother bought a return ticket for a two-week trip to China. Upon her arrival, she went to her former company’s office and was surprised that policemen had already been waiting there for her. She was immediately taken into custody and her passport was confiscated. My mother was extremely frightened because she didn’t do anything wrong! For two months she was not allowed to leave the region. On 29 January 2017, my mother was officially arrested and disappeared…. no news from her until July 2017 when China confirmed that my mother had been detained in a “re-education” camp on 9 June 2017. No other information about what had happened to her between January and June, nor where she had been. Knowing China, we are convinced that she was subjected to endless interrogations in a prison - or worse - torture. When she first entered the camp, she was allowed a single phone call. The only thing she was allowed to ask her family for was to bring her clean underwear and her personal belongings.
Today, she is still in a camp and is only allowed one visit per month by her mother during which she is only allowed to say that she is doing fine. However, my father, my sister and I, who live in France, are not allowed to contact her. We had to believe what my grandmother told us on the phone - until May when she begged us in tears not to call anymore. The previous day, the police had “harassed her the whole day and she did not understand what she had done to deserve such a treatment”.
This is what happened to me. Millions of cases like mine mean countless lives destroyed.
The reasons being our identity, our culture, our existence….
I have never spoken publicly of what happened in my home region. Maybe out of fear to stir pity and all kinds of comments of compassion, but above all out of fear to cause my mother even more troubles since her detention in a concentration camp….
I have kept silent for a long time but given the support of my family and friends, I cannot stay silent any longer. These camps opened in 2016. They are officially called “political re-education camps” with more than 3 million persons currently locked up inside.
I ask all of you to take notice of the intensified assimilation process and of the discrimination which have been going on in the region for the past decades.
Please help me to free my mother who has been detained completely arbitrarily in China. Her crime? Being a Uyghur and thus belonging to an ethnic minority she is suffering from the communist and totalitarian power of the current regime.
Are you a journalist, lawyer, humanist? If you think that you are able to help me in any way, please send me an email: email@example.com
Let’s break the shameful silence of France which has been going on for years!
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