My Mother Was Caught in Between

(中文版在这里)

I talked a bit about my mother’s work as a government official in this podcast. Here’s some more information about her life before she was thrown into a concentration camp.

My mother Zöhre Talip (早然木·塔力甫) was a party committee member at Ethnic and Religious Commission (民宗委) of the city of Qomul before her retirement in late 2017.

My mother used to work in the “visit-benefit-unite” (访惠聚) project initiated during Zhang Chunxian(张春贤) era before her retirement. She worked as a village official for the local community: providing useful information about government red tapes, for example helping people get their welfare benefits, etc.

She managed to help build a new bridge for this village. The villagers named the bridge after her to show their appreciation. I’ve been to the bridge once. It is probably this one located at 42.886755N, 92.856015E, if I recall correctly.

Zhang Chunxian sent higher-level government officials like my mother to villages, at least ostensibly, to improve local governance. Mostly, he wanted to buy people’s hearts and minds with good public service. Those officials lived in office buildings in the village, not in people’s homes, unlike the unbearably intrusive visits under Chen Quanguo.

I also found this post online. It shows my mom hosting a meshrep for the village. Specifically, “Sprout Meshrep,” which celebrates green sprouts of the spring.

After her one year stay in the village, she received this hand embroidered banner of honor saying:

El-qelbini mayil qilghan! Zöhre Talip’qa teqdim.

To Zöhre Talip: You have won the people’s heart! Village of Tügmenboyi

(btw the name of the village means “Endless Riverbank.”)

And this is the “promise” (承诺书) my mom signed on my behalf:

I never get any official notice about the reason for my parents’ disappearance.

I hereby demand China close all these so-called re-education camps, release 1 million of its own innocent citizens.

This is 2019 and people are dying in concentration camps, here’s how you can help:

My friend Gene Bunin’s project need your donation. They collected more than 2900 testimonies of camp victims and their family, we deserve more. Click here to donate.

Gene used to travel across China and wrote articles introducing Uyghur restaurants. He wrote an article about the Uyghur situation in China.

Please boycott and condemn companies that profit from China’s concentration camps and forced labor factories, pressure them to abandon projects related to concentration camps, such as:

Blackwater founder’s Hong Kong firm signs Xinjiang training camp deal

US clothing company drops Chinese supplier over Xinjiang forced labour concerns

I lost some of my Chinese social media accounts after I posted about my parents’ disappearance in China’s concentration camps. I want to say a special thank you to all my supporters on Chinese social media. It’s not safe for you to say nice things about me, you still did, thank you.

Another special thank you to people who donated to Gene’s program. Gene’s work reminded me that I’m not alone and I must carry on to find my own way to help people like my parents. Your kindness means a lot to me.

To all donors with a Chinese name, thank you. My husband is Han Chinese, almost all my friends are Han Chinese. I know this is not a Han-Uyghur problem from the beginning, thank you for reminding me that.