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Uyghur Activist Nursiman’s Speech at Turkish Assembly Blocked by Turkish TV

During yesterday’s Holocaust Memorial Day proceedings at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Uyghur Activist Nursiman Abdureshid gave testimony about her missing loved ones in East Turkestan. In her speech in front of the IYI party group, she asserted, “I said what I would say, now I am waiting for a response from humanity.”

With the applause of the IYI party’s parliament members, Nursiman continued, “I would like to see my parents’ faces and hug them. I would like to live like a human being. My past four years have been spent in hopes of getting help from the Turkish and Muslim world. However, China’s concentration camps still exist, and they are expanding ever more. Everytime I receive news about the death or severe illness of my fellow Uyghurs in the camps, it scares me terribly. Despite the Chinese government’s attempts at hiding their atrocious actions in East Turkestan, journalists, researchers, and human rights organizations have already proved the existence of the genocide inflicted upon the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples by the Chinese government. What is the world waiting for? The deaths of millions more? How do I believe the existence of human rights and the brotherhood of Turkic peoples, if your silence enables the disappearance of my nation?” (Speech content translated from this RFA Article)

Nursiman’s family members, like millions of other Uyghurs, were arbitrarily detained into concentration camps run by the Chinese government without any reason besides being Uyghur. Nursiman’s father was sentenced with 16 years of imprisonment, her mother 13 years, one brother with 15 years, and her other brother with seven years. She learned about these heavy prison sentences via a phone call from Chinese embassy in Turkey according to a SupChina article by Darren Byler.

Nursiman’s speech in front of the IYI party group was broadcasted live on Turkish television. However, a majority of channels cut transmission when she began speaking. The several arbitrary arrests of Uyghurs by Turkish police last week and Turkish television’s censorship of Nursiman’s speech indicates to us that the Uyghurs are losing an ally in their Turkish cousins.

In a tweet following her speech, Nursiman attested that, “My people are facing genocide at this moment. Memorizing victims’ [names] and saying ‘sorry’ after everything is done can’t make you a hero. Rather, standing still in front of justice can.”

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