My parents are not numbers or statistics

By M.H Uyghur

26.4.2018 Frankfurt, Germany

My aunt was working in a post office in Uyghur region, I was five or six years old, we have visited them in a summer vacation. I played hide and seek with my cousins, in accident I lacked myself in a safe, located in her office. The safe box was about the size that hardly fits an adult. I heard my cousin was coming, in a rush I hide myself in the box, then it lacked. Thank God she saw me, she couldn’t open the door. Luckily she was smart enough to immediately told my parents. There was tiny little hole behind the box, otherwise I could have never reached my adulthood. Somehow they managed to open the safe immediately. There was many times, they saved my life, just like your parents, they are heroes of mine.

Because of my language skills, I had good relationship with foreigners while I was in Ürümqi, the capital city of Uyghur region. We had wonderful time together, we traveled, had party and other regular things what young people do. It was pure friendship, we had never interested in politics, and never done anything stupid enough to annoying them, beside our friendship. Unfortunately, according to local public securities, our international friendship somehow “endangered the state security”, then they had detained me for “further investigation”, in fact, it was torture.

The days in detention center was one of most darkest period of my life, I have been tortured both mentally and physically. I guess I need to write more about it on another topic. Despite their routine, in “Tianshan detaining center” were many detainees were detained for “political reason”, which means “Ulanbay detaining center” was full. There are many things are bad in corrupted government, good side is “it works” if you able to bribe right personals. My parents had “gifted” a fat commander to take back my justice, with approximately 100 southend RMB, after ten days “investigation”, it proved that detaining me was a mistake.

Before this experience, I wasn’t planning to go abroad. Short after, I start to planning to study abroad. It wasn’t easy, at first I want to go to US, after my fellow Uyghur classmate fail to visa interview, I gave up my plan. Then, my Han teacher, a Christian priest of underground church, helped me arrange masters degree program in an university in Thailand. Trip to Thailand wasn’t that smooth, at the airport, Chinese border police took me to “routine checkups” in their office. At that time, I thought it was over. I started to pray, there was nothing else I can do. After two hours, they let me go. I am really thankful to the police officer, who was in his fifties, I strongly believe he was a Christian. He saw the Bible in my baggage, took it, and carefully put on the clean table, and he smiled at me with kind of deep meaning. I was bringing the Bible to my teachers friend, as a gift from him. Who knows, it saved my life.

Both my parents, now are in detention, in so called re-education center, in fact, Nazi style concentration camps. Over a year, I lost contact with my mother, from January, lost contact with father. I know what is it like to be in “detention”,. Every single day, since they got arbitrarily detained, I start to have sleeping disorder. At first, like other Uyghurs, I kept it in silence. I was afraid their suffering can get worsen, if I somehow bothering the Chinese authorities. Gradually, I lost my patience, start to see it will never help, situation will never get better with silence. Maybe I will never see them alive again, maybe I will never know where they were barred, one thing I am positive, I will definitely see them in the Heaven.

After long silence, medias start to report about the tragedies in Xinjiang, the reporters speaks out the numbers of estimated detainees in concentration camps. I hope you realize, those million Uyghurs in concentration camps, are parents, husband or wife, son or daughter of someone like you, they can feel pains, they can think, they love. I love my parents, really hope their suffers will end soon…

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