China, Duri Abderrahman, Xinjiang discussed on This American Life



At wine found flickers in the dark. So I'm part of the world would kind of information back you at least for those of us who aren't there. It's kind of blackbox Xinjiang China. If you picture China okay. It's in the northwest corner. Far from China's big cities the size of Mexico nestled up against Kazakhstan and a few other stands. And I think we it's been more like them than like ninety percent of China for instance at home to the workers who speak their own languages close to Turkish. Not Mandarin Chinese. Most workers are Muslim for a long time that we face discrimination and arbitrary detention in China. If you follow the news you probably know this escalated. Beginning in two thousand fourteen when the government started accusing hundreds of thousands of acres of supporting terrorism and wanting to separate from China and sent them to so called Reeducation Centers. The better described as interment camps from a detainees report being beaten. Women have testified that they were forcibly sterilized State Department. Estimated that up to two million people were held in these camps. But information about what's really going on. Xinjiang is hard to come by for weeks. Outside of Xinjiang. Who want to check on their families. Back home was families are effectively blocked from all communication others. The government monitors phone calls. It only say anything that will lead to officials banging on your family's door so we in the DASBURG turned to take talk yes autographs nerves. You think of Tik. Tok is the APP where the kids are making dance videos jokes that you do not understand but the APP started in China. The Chinese version of TIC TOC is called Julian. It is insanely popular over four hundred million users a day. Because it's a visual. The government is not so great at censoring it as resorted to place where uncensored content gets. Attache John Their videos posted by leakers but also government officials who've been sent there to manage week. Here is a video. That seems to have been posted by an official. He's been assigned to live with her family in their house as a kind of minder teams like maybe he posted this show. You know everything's fine. We're getting long everything's great. Can't the video the minders eating breakfast with two kids from the family? In the garden smiles at the camera turns into the little boy eating next to him and then in Wieger. The boy says to his mom dad comes home this guy. Oh leave stem mom. Is he coming on Monday? If they show doesn't seem to understand a word of that now here is a video posted presumably by somebody who sweeter. It's a woman with long dark hair sitting in her car while the faded by Alan Walker plays in the background. You know there's something off about this. It is not normal. Tick Tock video of somebody dancing. She's beating her chest with their fist to the beat and then you realize dozens of these same kind of video using the same song. Everybody beating their chest. It's like a virtual protest. Still like I say there are lots of weaker is trying to figure out what's going on in Xinjiang. What's happening to their own families. Their dirty Bruce Karen has reported living in Turkey where a lot of workers settled many of them in the last five years. She's been talking with one man for months. He's been obsessed with these. Tick Tock videos with anything else you can find that will give them a look inside. Ching Jiang's blackbox because what he values the most in this world. His wife and son and the rest of his family are stuck inside. Here's Duri Abderrahman not fled China. Seven years ago after getting arrested and tortured for learning Arabic. He wanted to read the Koran today. He still doesn't have much feeling in his feet but let me tell you how he met his wife. Because it's a sweet story. When Abderrahman got to Istanbul he wanted to settle down and start a family of his own so he turned to his dad back in Xinjiang. The person he trusts most in the world and asked him to help him find someone back home for him to marry. His Dad went around talk to other parents and he found Parada a biology student with Brown eyes and a kind face Abderrahman and Preda talked on. We chat that's the main social media platform China. They couldn't say much because they knew the government monitored calls to foreign numbers. The conversation was stilted but they got a sense for each other and they decided to get married so she packed your bags and ordered a plane to Turkey. Abderrahmane was so excited on the Journal. Does a plan should arrive at two o'clock in the event. The airport rose flower. And I put a run in the middle and they put a ring the top of the Koran for taking out her from airports of this he brought a photo of her to make sure he could figure out who she was. He was in the terminal with a group of Friends. Waiting people were streaming out of the Customs area and Caesar the most shoot up to her assuming this on the teacher she asks. Who's The pitcher for you? I said it's my wife. She's like crazy that can son. She loves it. Wasn't it's not Parada and Abderrahmane starting to worry like maybe she's not coming then he sees someone else who looks like her goes up. Tour shows the picture. She's like no that's not me but as he's turning to leave she calls him back. It was her song Zomig on her phone. A all feature and asking US guy as long as I say and that's why we met first time. She was messing with him. I put the ring on percents On the floor and the Turks around US asking what's happening getting married where from suddenly it became kind of party. People are giving us gift alcohol and chocolate candies and the silicon vegetation and that it was a really happy moment for us. A police officer working at the airport says hey I'm weaker to. He gives them a police escort. Back home lights flashing. It's like a movie not too long after Abderrahman and Preda had a son. They named him Abdelaziz after his grandfather and Abdelaziz becomes his. Dad's many me everything up. Do Raymond did Abdulaziz would follow. From the way he stood to table manners emotionally so much true. Roll those little driving car heroes. He walked to sit front of me and the drive. It was me this was in a parking lot. Abderrahmane was teaching Parada had a drive and eighteen month. Old Abdulaziz would sit on his dad's lap and grabbed the stick. Shift Heathrow fuss. If he couldn't look a little nervous ridiculed try to copy Ariza do but Abderrahman's relationship with his family was rocky right from the start. Abderrahmane is religious but her family is secular and pretty wealthy but the heart of the problem was that previous parents felt like she was wasting her education in Turkey. She had a degree but she wasn't using it. She wanted to stay home with their son. When Abdel Aziz was born predisposed started asking her to come back dishing junk for a long visit maybe even to leave Abdelaziz with them for a while in weaker. Families it's really common for grandparents to take care of their grandkids for their first five years of life while the parents work the pressure from back home got really intense but Abdurrahman imprio- To leave Turkey for starters. Abderrahman couldn't go with her dishing John. Because he was sure he'd be arrested if he returned to China and by this point it was two thousand. Fifteen they'd been hearing. Whispers about added surveillance about Wiegert is being detained in Xinjiang. They don't know exactly what's happening but they know it's not good. Look what you say if you want to with We can try but I don't feel good about it and I I do not be able to come back again because of the situation down there. She said no you crazy. I really don't want to travel predispo- parents kept insisting that it was safe at least for them. They're loyal to the party. And they had high level government contacts. They're not religious if Abdelaziz was with them they said it would be okay pushing but durant and Preda.

Coming up next