Uighurs in Canada fear China’s long reach

Uighurs in Canada fear China’s long reach


[Reporter] He’s far from China but not beyond its reach. A young Uighur too afraid to reveal his identity. [Man] Because the Chinese government
can track you everywhere. [Reporter] His is a story of pressure. And he shows us documents he was pushed to sent to China. His Canadian address, copies of his ID and something extraordinary. [Man] They even got my blood type and my DNA. [Reporter] So how did this happen? Back home in China, his parents had been approached by police curious about where he was. The implied threat: get the information or they might end up in the detention camps. He tells us authorities already had seized his parent’s passports so they can’t leave China. For him to go back might mean detention. How will you see your parents again? [Man] I can’t see them in either country. [Reporter] Not just one man’s worries surveiling, separating families seems part of China’s plan. The leaked documents outline how people are to be tracked or refused approval for visas. Some who’ve left the country arrested the moment they crossed the border back. The bulletins note watching people with dual citizenship and point out five are Canadian. After 20 years in Canada, Uighur activist Rukiye Turdush he’s less afraid for herself but worries deeply about the Uighur students here who reach out to her for help. Her phone seems a lifeline for them. Some of them even the mothers
and fathers forced them, “OK, so the police bothering me so much. Send like a power of attorney, write down a letter with a lawyer. Just say you’re not my son anymore or you’re not my daughter anymore.” [Reporter] Beyond the heartbreak of having to disown their parents some are pressured to return to China. Frightened their families will be punished if they don’t. Some students just disappear from Canada. Hard to know how many of Gone. [Rukiye] At least six or seven of them told me. The rest of them didn’t tell me because they’re so scared. [Reporter] Her burden is to listen and be haunted by things she cannot change. That’s Canadian Mehmet Tohti trauma too and it’s personal. This is his mom back in Xinjiang. He last spoke with her in October of 2016 and says it felt like goodbye. [Mehmet] She told me, “If we’re not able to meet in this world probably hereafter and do not think too much about us and continue to do what is right for you and take care of yourself.” [Reporter] His fight for justice has felt lonely but now the proof is out he wonders what the world will do. [Mehmet] This is the largest abuse of state power since the Second World War. If we do not issue a condemnation on this so what else we will issue its condemnation?

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