‘At some point you will forget who you are’: Xinjiang concentration camp survivor


In this special episode, we met Tursunay Ziyawudun, a Xinjiang concentration camp survivor. She recounts her experience inside the camp, how she got out of it and what her decision to speak out is costing her family. Translation for her is Mr. Weli.

Ziyawudun said, “In the beginning,[…]when I was detained, I thought maybe it was something temporary. Probably after a few days I will be released, I will be allowed to go home. With this false hope, after lasting a few days or weeks, see what’s going on inside [the detention camp] and you will lose [hope] to a point where you realize it’s not a mistake, it’s not temporary detention. It was very well thought out, pre-planned. [It’s] very systematic, the process of denying Uyghurs who they are, what they believe in. Even up to a point, after seeing or going through all this torture inside and at some point, you’ll forget who you are, or like you can’t think anymore. Basically… your brain can just go blank, and then at that point, or after a while, you realize that it was basically a targeted attempt to eradicate or completely eliminate the Uyghurs.

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