Confessions of a Xinjiang camp teacher

Qelbinur Sedik reveals the horrors she witnessed in the camps, where she was forced to teach Mandarin in 2017.

Qelbinur Sedik has witnessed wanton cruelty, gratuitous violence, humiliation, torture, and death meted out to her people on an unimaginable scale — but has been forced to keep the crushing secret until now.

When she first arrived in Europe, she was so traumatized she could barely speak about her ordeal. Then she found the Dutch Uyghur Human Rights Organization (DUHRO), where people patiently listened through her many tears. The DUHRO wrote down her story, calling it “Qelbinur Sidik: A Twisted Life.” Through it, she now feels ready to tell the world what she saw in the internment camps of Xinjiang.

This account is based on excerpts from the memoir and my own interviews with her.

Her personal story begins 51 years ago in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China. A middle child in a family of six children, she remembers her childhood warmly. Her parents emphasized honesty and education, and each child grew up to become a valued member of society, some even taking government jobs.

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