“Ek is vandag hier nie as 'n professionele aktivis nie, kenner, of 'n skolier, maar net as 'n dogter, iemand wat direk deur die gruweldade geraak is” in Xinjiang, Ziba Murat, die Uyghur-Amerikaner, said in a news conference hosted by the Heritage Foundation on Thursday. Haar ma, Dr. Gulshan Abbas, disappeared in 2018.
Murat recalled that she last heard her mother’s voice in September 2018. “She sent me a message saying I should sleep when the baby sleeps, referring to my then-infant daughter. I haven’t heard from her since.”
“When she last visited us in 2016, she promised us she would be back soon,” het sy bygevoeg.
Three months after Murat’s daughter was born, her mother disappeared. “That little girl is now 3 jaar oud, and she still hasn’t met her grandmother,” sy het gese, on the verge of tears. “On her third birthday a few months ago, she pointed at my mom’s picture and asked, ‘Is she coming for my birthday?’ In that moment, I choked as if something was in my throat… I don’t know the answer to that question.”
“For over two years, we have had no information whatsoever as to why she was detained, her whereabouts, or her condition. But then in December 2020, we learned that she was sentenced to prison on fabricated charges in a sham trial,” Murat explained. The Chinese authorities sentenced her to 20 jare tronkstraf.
Abbas was not a famous scholar, a renowned intellectual, or even politically active. “She was a doctor, she was a healer, but she still was swept into this genocide,” Murat said. “It’s a nightmare I wish I could wake up from.”