Uighur activist reads harrowing first-hand testimony of Chinese "reeducation camps"

2 August 2020, 14:30 | Updated: 2 August 2020, 14:36

By Seán Hickey

This human rights activist shared an account of conditions in Chinese camps alleged to be housing hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims.

Maajid Nawaz was speaking to Rahima Mahmut, a Uighur singer, human rights activist & UK director of the World Uyghur Congress. She was explaining the work she does to shed light on the plight of Uighurs when Maajid asked if she had met people who's families have been "enslaved or who have disappeared."

"I myself am a victim," she revealed. "I couldn't return to my country for the last twenty years because I have been speaking the truth."

Since January 2017 Ms Mahmut told Maajid she has lost contact with her family in China and has no idea what has happened to them.

She added that she has "translated many many documents," including the accounts of camp survivors and then asked if she could read out a first hand account from someone who managed to flee to Kazakhstan after witnessing what happens inside the "reeducation camps".

Evidence is being gathered on atrocities committed against Uighur Muslims in China
Evidence is being gathered on atrocities committed against Uighur Muslims in China. Picture: PA

After reading the shocking testimony, Ms Mahmut told Maajid that she has plenty more accounts similar to that and said "the CCP cannot deny that this is happening."

Maajid stressed the importance of stories such as the one Ms Mahmut read out. "In genocide situations and in concentration camps and in war crimes what is important is gathering personal testimony," he said, pointing out that "a totalitarian regime will not admit to a genocide voluntarily."

"Personal testimonies are crucial evidence for anyone trying to determine whether a genocide is going on."