United States, China, Pakistan discussed on Post Reports
They get to Pakistan and suddenly there outside of China's censored Internet. They're watching youtube videos. And they're realizing the full extent of what was happening in China the more than a million people are in detention according to US and UN estimates. And they're realizing while we we really can't go back but they're also realizing if we don't go back there probably GonNa go after our family. So why didn't they. They end up just deciding to live in Pakistan so they start hearing stories about people who fled to Pakistan and are getting forcibly deported. They realize it's GonNa take a long time for them to get policies citizenship to naturalized there and they basically decide. We can't stick around you know we're going to get sent back to China so they knew that they could get to the United States unlike most people they don't let you get on a plane if you don't have a visa so they decide to roll the dice and they got on a flight and landed at Dulles airport and really worried at all about the fact that if the Chinese government knew that they had essentially lied about their promise to return time that it could have repercussions for other members of their family. They were terrified just after they overstayed the date of their return. Zumra got messages on her phone there from her brother and in a series of of desperate messages he says you know. Where are you from grandchildren? Agam Kanda Jeffords. Aren't you calling me back. You know so and so went to interrogate our father. It was it was devastating for them. She knew and she had her brother's voice on a voice. Message saying we're we're in trouble. They're coming for us. Would I follow your Ma. She also knew that she had three kids with her and that if she went back she would certainly be going back to detention if not prison and that there could be trouble for her husband and her kids as well so one was it that they I got here. And how long have you. You've been here now. They got here in April. So it's been a few months. They had their first American summer while they sort of got used to living in suburban Virginia and developed a plan. We're standing outside outside the mosque in the Virginia suburbs and just rain you can hear the crooked and their two daughters eleven and six chips hamburger high. Yeah she's selling hamburgers at her imaginary store. The community help them find a home to rent. They started settling in and they filed for asylum. And what are the chances at that asylum petition will be successful. So it's really hard to say. Various government agencies have condemned the camps State Department and Pentagon so many people have said you know what China's doing is a travesty at the same time the trump administration has generally tightened controls on refugees and asylum seekers. And so I can imagine that. Maybe the reason why they wanted to talk publicly about their experience and about the fact that they were able to escape from China is partially to make the case for why they should be able to stay in the US because things were so bad for them there will. The decision to speak out for them was excruciating as they started to settle in to life in the United States and asserted to meet with members of the Diaspora. Here people warn them. If you do this there will be consequences yet. They've still been pretty public about about their experiences for about a month. They said we don't want to do the store. We changed our mind. Were terrified and then over the summer they change their mind. Thank you thank you ambassador. Gingrich per case caught the attention of the State Department and she was actually mentioned in a speech by Secretary of State Mike Tale really. He mentioned her and her family. In that speech he gave a speech on religious freedom. One of them was a woman named Zumrat. Dr Root She was shackled interrogated and taken to an internment camp where she was forced to recite Chinese propaganda and beaten forgiving tailing fellow prisoner or food. All of this for the crime of being Muslim there was an immediate reaction from the Chinese side. There was an article in one of the Party. Controlled troll news outlets condemning. What POMPEO had said As part of that they had found video which they said was made by rats brother the little dogs of the Dow in which he condemned his sister's testimony and also condemned directly. Mike Pompeo for his speech American Opio up in writing. Her family believed the brother was coerced into this testimony. The Zumra feel like she has kind of a responsibility to to talk about the things that happened to her. Just because it is so rare for someone who has been to the places that she's been in things that she's seen for them to have gotten to the US in gotten to safety that's exactly how she feels. And that's why she decided to tell our story as she went back and forth over the summer about whether or not to go ahead with the story you know. She was weighing her responsibility to her family. And then this sense that she'd had when she was in detention of. Why isn't anyone doing doing anything about this? Why isn't anyone speaking out? And she said that's why she ultimately decided to tell her story. Emily raw covers foreign affairs for the post.