44 Urumqi fire victims fail to exit due to welded doors

by Anne Kader


Photo of Bahargul and the burnt apartment building in Urumqi


By Serwi Huseyin 


Bahargul, her son, and her daughter were victims of the Nov, 24th Urumqi fire. Her last words recorded from WeChat circulated on Douyin and leaked out to the world, and broke our hearts! She said, “We seriously lack oxygen, and the fire is getting bigger, and we can’t get out. I don’t expect anything at this movement except sharing my voice so that more people will be aware.” BBC news about Urumqi does not even mention all the victims are Uyghurs and they were dead due to the welded doors and failed rescue operations. 


BBC and other major media outlets that reported the Urumqi fire failed to include the faces of Bahargul and other victims available through leaked footage with pictures and voices of the victims.


I hope the main media connects with the Uyghurs diaspora to report on such cases. All forty-four victims (not ten, like Chinese state media, reported) were left without help and told by the community officials to wrap wet towels around their noses and wait for help. According to a DouYin video, eight among the forty-four were severely injured, and all the others were dead. Victims’ last words were not “come, and rescue us”.  Their last words were “open the door.”


Hundreds of videos related to the deadly fire have been surfacing from DouYin and left the entire Uyghur diaspora devastated even further. As a member of the Uyghur diaspora, I too spent my last two days watching the DouYin Videos and mourning for the deceased fellow Uyghurs in Urumqi.


Uyghurs in East Turkestan have been living the worst nightmares in centuries. They have been taken to prison camps under the name of reeducation. They are going through genocide through starvation. They have been confined to crowded and inhumane quarantine camps in the remote areas of East Turkestan.


Only two days ago, their neighbors were burned alive inside their own houses behind the welded doors. I believe Uyghurs in the diaspora and back home in East Turkestan know that even worse is yet to come and they will not be surprised at all by the next disaster inflicted by the brutal Chinese regime. “My heart is so shaky and fragile like an autumn leaf stricken by cold wind at this movement. It’s past due already the world should do something”, Serwi Huseyin writes.


The world should finally do something other than imposing business restrictions and sanctions that will take forever to implement. Uyghurs in East Turkestan are breathing their last breath, and the world is turning a blind eye to them.




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