By Ghulam Osman
Uyghur camp survivor Gulbahar Jelilova provided a chilling description about the horrific life inside China’s concentration camps where millions of Uyghurs, male and female, young and old, are incarcerated indefinitely.
Inside these camps mothers who were separated from their newly born babies are not worried about their babies, despite their breast milk leaking constantly.
She explained that these mothers could not think about their babies, even if they try because their mind is just empty.
Apart from the pills stopping their menstruation cycle, they are also given other pills to take, or drugs are mixed into their food that deprive them of their capacity to think.
How is it possible that a breastfeeding mother cannot think about their baby?
Is the installment of security cameras inside the camps intended to monitor and prevent inmates from talking to each other at midnight and reducing them to silence out of fear?
This level of surveillance didn’t even happen in Nazi concentration camps.
When Uyghur inmates speak to each other even in an extremely low voice, police come out of nowhere and beat them for speaking in the Uyghur language.
Another regression from the Nazi concentration camps is that Uyghurs are in a camp cell that is 7 meters by 5 meters with more than 30 people forced to sleep on the floor, compared to Nazi camps where the inmates slept on bunk beds.
In China’s camps, everybody is ordered to sleep on the floor.
However, there is no room for 30 people to sleep side by side in the cell, so half of them sleep while the other half stand up to wait for their turn to sleep on the floor.
Utilizing modern technology, China can carry out atrocities crueler and more oppressive than even the Nazi regime.
One corner of every cell is dedicated to a toilet separated from the rest of the cell by glass.
Why is it made of glass? Is this a cost saving measure? In China, glass is expensive, more expensive than other partition materials such as lumber or a metal.
Why is it then separated by glass?
It is because if any of the 30 inmates uses it, the others can see the inside very clearly.
Those who don’t feel accustomed to or comfortable with such exposure can’t engage in proper urination or excretion, even though they are desperate to do so.
Even if they face away from the rest of the group, they still feel hesitant to do their business out of shame.
You may be asking, what is the reason behind installing a toilet in such a way, an accommodation that they will be forced to use?
We can analyze it by linking it to another horrific occurrence in these camps where female inmates are forced to strip down every morning and are forced to squat for some time.
Then, Chinese soldiers and policemen walk in front of them, with a deriding smile on their lips and their eyes fixated on the private parts of their body. Then Uyghur women are asked to stand up and continue doing other activities.
Examining these horrific occurrences, it is easy to understand that the purpose of these humiliation practices is to reduce our people to an animalistic state.
Uyghurs, who used to consider burping and blowing their nose in front of others to be embarrassing and who have led their life with a sense of honor and good mannerism, are being transformed blatantly through humiliation to become obedient animals.
Throughout history, Uyghurs have criticized and have come to know the Chinese for being dirty.
Uyghurs have many proverbs associating messiness, filth, and immoral behavior with daily habits of Chinese people.
The habits of Chinese people farting while eating, blowing their nose in front of others, using a common and open toilet while talking to each other comfortably are foreign to Uyghur culture; instead, they are the social taboos for Uyghurs to avoid.
The whole operation of the concentration camps aims to re-engineer Uyghurs to behave like savages but taking it further and transforming Uyghurs into submissive animals through brazen humiliation.
Now it is largely accepted to liken the China’s concentration camps to the Nazi ones.
However, the truth is that the Nazi camps seem to have more humane facilities than the Chinese ones.
Personally, I visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
In the camp, there are toilets with tiles and faucets to wash hands. In the camps of the Chinese fascists, Uyghur inmates are given only one piece of toilet paper each and there is no water to wash hands.
Since this paper is only usable once, no matter how careful they would use it, most of the time, the inmates clean their anuses with their hands after defecating.
Then, they scrub their hands on the floor and then against the wall to get them dry. When they are outside, they use dirt to get their hands “clean” and “dry”.
Prior to eating, they use the dirt again to clean their hands before eating.
Now, is this due to the scarcity of water or is it deliberately arranged this way? If it is deliberate, then what does it aim to achieve?
It is rather difficult to convince people this level of cruelty is occurring as we speak. Who else in human history has ever been subject to such inhumane atrocities?
The whole project aims to humiliate and re-engineer Uyghurs to be submissive animals.
This process is gradually achieved through the depravation of privacy, destruction of self-esteem and, more importantly, erasure of identity.
This humiliation will be internalized and intensified among Uyghurs and destroy their spirit all together in the end—forcing them to accept that they deserve this inhumane treatment because they are not human beings but animals.
It is understandable that the silence of the world is because of China’s economic prowess.
Since these 72 atrocities that China has committed and continues to commit against Uyghurs has gone unchecked and unopposed, who is to say that China won’t move on to commit these atrocities against you? Will it not be too late, then?
(Mr Osman is the President of East Turkistan Government-in-Exile and the views expressed in this article are purely his).