'Our souls are dead': how I survived a Chinese 're-education' camp for Uighurs

Gulbahar Haitiwaji and her husband at her daughter Gulhumar's wedding with another daughter and son-in-law. Family Photo

By Gulbahar Haitiwaji with Rozenn Morgat
Jan 12, 2021

The man on the phone said he worked for the oil company, “In accounting, actually”. His voice was unfamiliar to me. At first, I couldn’t make sense of what he was calling about. It was November 2016, and I had been on unpaid leave from the company since I left China and moved to France 10 years earlier. There was static on the line; I had a hard time hearing him.

“You must come back to Karamay to sign documents concerning your forthcoming retirement, Madame Haitiwaji,” he said. Karamay was the city in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang where I’d worked for the oil company for more than 20 years.

“In that case, I’d like to grant power of attorney,” I said. “A friend of mine in Karamay takes care of my administrative affairs. Why should I come back for some paperwork? Why go all that way for such a trifle? Why now?”

Read the full article at The Guardian

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