China Leaks: ‘It was no mistake… it’s a distraction for worse to come,’ says Uyghur-Australian

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Elminur, a 21-year-old Uyghur-Australian student, is afraid that recent leaks from the Chinese government was no mistake.

Video Above: Elminur and other Uyghur-Australians speak about their safe haven in Adelaide, and troubles in Xinjiang. 

When I was 11, I fled my homeland, East Turkistan, with my mother and my sister. My father joined us later. 

I’m one of about 1,500 Uyghurs now living in Gilles Plains, Adelaide. When Uyghur’s from across the world who visit us often refer to our community as "A little East Turkistan". 

With the release of leaks in the past week, much of the world is just now waking up to China’s “Training and Education” camps in Xinjiang (that’s how the Chinese government refers to our homeland. They will never recognise it as a sovereign state). But I can confidently say that 100 per cent of the Uyghur people living in Adelaide have had at least one family member imprisoned, ‘disappeared’ or killed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

The CCP don’t make mistakes, so I worry that these leaks are a bluff that form part of long-term strategy. I think this is a distraction for something worse to come. 

I often think about the light-hearted expression, 'What's the worst that could happen'?

I am afraid torture against my people will never end. 

I have lost touch with most of my extended family in East Turkistan. The worst part is the uncertainty. Am I supposed to grieve their death or am I supposed to pray that they will make it out alive?

I sit on the bus coming back from university and see people with their family and grandparents and I start crying.

I recently heard someone use the term survivor’s guilt. It really resonated with me. I have always felt that, even saying it out loud makes me emotional.

Living in Adelaide, we no longer fear the CCP like we did when we lived in East Turkistan. That is why we are speaking out. The evidence is staking up and it’s becoming harder to ignore that the CPP is committing cultural genocide against my people.  

But I don’t know if this is good news. Is it worse for the outside community to know what is happening and do nothing? Or not do nothing about it because they didn't know?

We should stand up, not just government, but as human beings and say, we can’t do this to other human beings.