Photo: Private Album
By Rayhangul Abliz
(Published with the permission of The International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China)
My name is Rayhangul Abliz. I am an Australian Uyghur living in Melbourne, where I arrived eleven years ago, in February 2010.
This is a testimony about my parents.
My father’s name is Abliz Tohti. He is seventy-one years old, and he is from Artush, Arghu. My father was a long-term businessman. However, due to his old age and deteriorating health, he decided to quit his job and rest at home instead.
My mother’s name is Aygul Heyit, and she is a 68-year-old housewife.
In 2016, both my parents travelled to Egypt for a holiday. While in Egypt, they visited the Saudi consulate to try and apply for a visa. Their request was denied. They returned home after their holiday.
After their return from Egypt, the Chinese police did not give them any rest. Almost every day, they would go to my parent’s home and interrogate them about their holiday in Egypt.
A couple of times a week the officials required my parents to go to the local council and forced them to write a sworn statement, as well as praises to Xi Jinping. They were also oppressed in other ways, including being forced to deny their religion. During this time, it was very difficult for me to communicate with my parents.
In April 2018, I heard that my parents had been detained in a concentration camp. I lost all contact with my parents, relatives, and friends. Not having any contact with them anymore, I believed my parents were still in a concentration camp. No matter what I tried, I could not contact them or get any information about their whereabouts and well-being.
At the beginning of 2021, I reached out to the ‘Australian Department of foreign affairs and trade’ and their ‘China Policy office to ask them to help me receive information about my parents. After their correspondence with the Chinese embassy, they contacted me in May and told me that since April 2018 both of my parents had been sentenced to 14 years in prison for supporting “terrorist activities”.
My father is a regular man, just trying to live his life in peace at home since he could not work as a businessman anymore, due to his worsening health conditions. As for my mother, she is a simple lady who has dedicated her whole life to looking after her kids and her home.
Handing out a 14-year prison sentences to my 71-year-old father and 68-year-old mother is no different than sentencing them both to life in prison. Putting the charge of “supporting terrorist activities” to the side, my parents don’t even know the meaning of the word terrorist.
The Chinese government is targeting innocent, simple, and kind-hearted Uyghurs, and they are pressing them. The genocide against Uyghurs continues and is getting worse every day. It’s not just my parents who have been detained; millions of Uyghurs are suffering and have been tortured in these concentration camps and prisons, that were solely made to destroy our people.
In 2017, when the crackdown began, both my parents were detained in concentration camps in May 2017. They got really scared during their detainment, and due to serious health conditions, they suffered from hypertension and were then released on probation on house arrest.
During this time my parents were so scared that they cut off all their contact with me and refused to pick up my phone calls when I called them. Due to this reason, it was extremely difficult for me to get any accurate information regarding their well-being.
Until now, the world has been silent on the Uyghurs’ suffering. Even if they have heard about it or have seen the evidence, they act like they haven’t seen or heard anything.
The 21st-century genocide is happening right in front of everyone, yet the world is refusing to open its eyes. I ask the United Nations, the European Union, and all the Democratic nations of the world, to put an end to the Uyghur genocide, to help the Uyghurs, and prevent China from spreading its poison to the rest of the world. I also urge the people of the world to stand on the side of truth and justice. Thank you.
Published with the permission of ETAC
The International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) is a coalition of lawyers, academics, ethicists, medical professionals, researchers and human rights advocates dedicated to ending forced organ harvesting in China.