Muslims tortured and brainwashed in Chinese ‘re-education camps.’ A Muslim minority from Xinjiang is demonstrating at the EU in Brussels against the camps, posted by iStorify.
“I lie awake until the sun rises, I can not sleep, the memory keeps bothering me.” Omar Bekali has been traumatised. He was tortured and brainwashed in a camp in the Chinese province of Xinjiang due to his Islamic faith under the guise of a ‘re-education’.
Bekali grew up in Xinjiang, but lives in Kazakhstan and has had a Kazakh passport for years. Since his parents still live in the Chinese province, he decided to visit them.
One day after arrival five armed police officers were at his door to take him away. He did not have the right to call his parents or a lawyer because he was a ‘special’ case.
After four months of imprisonment and torture, Bekali was ‘released’ after a visit from a Kazakh minister. But he could not just go back home. First, he had to go to the re-education camp, where he was brainwashed along with 1000 others with the ideas and rules of the Chinese government.
According to Bekali, the psychological pressure was ‘enormous’. “You have to criticise yourself, label your convictions as evil – and also your ethnic group,” he says.
Bekali says he had to shout for every meal, for example, that he was grateful to the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping. He received hours of lessons about why religion is dangerous. Another woman says that she should apologise for her clothing style, her prayers and that she had given children Koran lessons.
Bekali did not obey from the first day and therefore had to stand for five hours in a row against a wall every day. A week later he was locked up for 24 hours without food. After 20 days in the camp, he wanted to commit suicide.
The camps must ensure that the Muslim minorities in Xinjiang do not revolt. The existence of the camps has been known for some time, says China correspondent Sjoerd den Daas. “We have known for a prolonged time that they are there, but now there has also become more known about what is happening in these camps, which we did not know before.”
Den Daas says that faith is not the only reason for confinement in a re-education camp: “If you do not do exactly what the government wants from you, then there is a chance that you end up in such a camp. But you can also get caught because you did not pick up your phone when the police called, so you are immediately suspected. “
It ended well with Bekali. After eight months in prison, he was freed by a policeman who was always kind to him. The agent said, “You were too stubborn, but the government’s approach was unjust.”
At first, Bekali did not want to tell the story because he was afraid his parents and sister would be taken, prisoner. But even before his story was published, that happened. That’s why he came back to his decision: “I have nothing left to lose.”