View Full Version : What would you expect? - Yashlar Awazi torining Inglizchisi echiliptu

15-10-12, 06:36
What would you expect?

Since the July 5th incident escalated in Urumchi in 2009, as an ethnic Uighur in exile, I started to receive an increased number of interview requests from students and scholars from different institutions for their Uighur-related researches. Usually, I am asked to introduce myself and present a brief introduction of my family background at the beginning of such interviews. “Wow” followed by a surprised face, or “Mashaallah” if the person is a Muslim, are the most regular reactions I get when I tell my interviewers that I have three siblings and we (four) are double pairs of twins.

“Weren’t your parents punished or fined by the government?” interview continues. Under the One-Child-Policy of China, as an “ethnic minority” in the country, we may have two children if we are urban area residents (three for rural area residents). Therefore, four was “way too many” for a Uighur family live in a city and my father had to pay a several thousand Yuan fine to avoid the possible abortion which would have given us the unwelcome message before our “arrival” into the world. The preposterous part of all was that it took eight days to conduct the legal procedures of the fine and we were issued birth certificates which mistake the date of the fine for our date of birth. Therefore, as we were born in late December, our birth certificates certify our birthday as if it is in January of the next year. Take it further, we were told to be too young to start primary school, because of those eight days, and had to wait for another year to be enrolled in primary school. In a one-party communist dictatorship, school life of a kid who violated state policies by being born into the world is another unique but more traumatic experience to have. Still, we were the lucky ones that our father could afford the fine and saved our lives.

The phenomenon which makes me frustrated is that there are millions of unborn babies whose first and basic human right of birth is denied for no other reason than being in the wrong womb at the wrong time in the wrong country. Quoting from the Chinese state-run media China Daily, a CNN report indicates that 13 million abortions are performed in China each year. Even the portion of forceful performance of abortion in the country maintains unclear, presumably, it is still believed to be high enough to concern us. In particular, in the regions such as East Turkestan (aka: Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) where human rights groups have been expressing their concerns over local governments’ implementation of inadequate, and even discriminatory, policies toward “ethnic minorities”. Dwarfing my personal experience and anecdotal evidences I could present, works of some scholars and reports from the media circulating the real heart-breaking stories on the presence of forceful practice of abortion and dissatisfactions of Uighurs in the region have partially brought the issue to international attention. A news article from the Radio Free Asia reported the arrest of Arzigul Tursun – a Uighur woman who was six month pregnant with her third child – had escaped the hospital where a supposed forced abortion would have taken place. When she was returned to the abortion bed again, an unexpected urgent order from Beijing stopped the doctors performing the abortion, says another news report. The story which partially concluded, only after the intervention of U.S. Congressmen Chris Smith and Joe Pitts, with the birth of “the American baby” extended itself to the arrest of Tursunjan Hesen, the woman’s father, who took the case to the international media. Like Arzigul, there are tens of thousands of Uighur mothers who are suffering the pain of losing their babies and different diseases caused by abortion. While the Chinese victim of forced abortion was promised to be compensated, for Uighur women, neither the courage nor willingness to admit its wrong has been shown by the government.

Ironically, not only is the Chinese government keen to blame the western “enemies” for interfering Chinese internal affairs, it also accuses the Uighur diaspora and “a small number of Uighur separatists” in the region for instigating and organising political and social discourses have been escalating more regularly since the 1990s. Forgetting all other social, cultural, economic and political persecutions in the region, at this point, I must admit that I wonder what anyone would expect from a person who could be able to exist only because of several thousand Yuan or pressure from a politician in the other side of the globe. Furthermore, what is worth to contemplate is the question ‘how about the parents who have lost or are to lose their child because of the absence of these elements’?