tirsdag 27. april 2021

‘Starting In 2017 It Was Just All Fear’: Canadian Couple on Life in Xinjiang Amid Growing Abuses

Canadian nationals Andrea and Gary Dyck lived in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) for 10 years, beginning in 2008, during which time they spent five years studying the Uyghur and Mandarin languages at Xinjiang University in the regional capital Urumqi. In 2014, the couple moved to the eastern XUAR’s prefecture-level city of Turpan (in Chinese, Tulufan), where they ran a business helping farmers to raise organic produce and improve the quality of their soil through composting.

The Dycks left China in 2018 as they noticed that restrictions on the daily lives of Uyghurs in the XUAR increased dramatically. The couple said that by then, Uyghurs were routinely subjected to discrimination, the prohibition of cultural and religious practices, and regular monitoring through a high-tech surveillance system comprised of facial recognition cameras and checkpoints that singled them out for searches and interrogations. Since they left China, a growing amount of evidence suggests that in addition to the crackdown, authorities have deployed a number of other measures targeting Uyghurs, including forced sterilizations, coerced labor, and a campaign of mass incarceration through which an estimated 1.8 million people have been held in a vast network of internment camps since early 2017.