My fate wasn’t in my own hands

Halmurat Uyghur. PHOTO: ANTOINE VÉDEILHE

TEXT: HALMURAT UYGHUR
PHOTO: ANTOINE VÉDEILHE  
MAY 19 2020

The activist Halmurat Uyghur, who among other things initiated the movement #MeTooUyghur, began his political engagements as a direct reaction to his parents’ internment in a re-education camp in Xinjiang. In this personal narrative he gives us some insight into the work of an activist—from being a Uyghur voice in the media to being directly threatened by the Chinese regime.

Iam an ethnic Uyghur, a proud citizen of the Republic of Finland. Halmurat is not my actual name, my given name is Halvar, grandmother gave me this name, it is a very unique name, among the Uyghurs, I think I am the only person who has this name. However, beside my special name, I have never wanted to be special. I had never had an ambition to become an activist, defender of human rights, I have been taught to keep a distance from politics, so I would have a safe and peaceful life. The reason for that is that my family’s connection to politics has always been painful. From ancestors being forced to move over fears of retaliation from provincial rulers, to my grandfather being sent to a labor camp during the cultural revolution.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT PEN/Opp

Categories: 
Share/Save