'That's the one, that's where we were locked up'

An excerpt from Nury Turkel's 'No Escape: The True Story of China's Genocide of the Uyghurs'

Uighurs.
(Image credit: Illustrated | REUTERS, iStock)

I've always been my mother's favorite. Our family used to joke that I was an only child, as if I didn't have three younger broth­ers. It's me that Mom turns to when she gets sad or stressed and needs to talk. She always used to say, as she got older and her health became more fragile, that her one dream was to live long enough to see me marry. I guess that's the bond you forge when you were born in a Communist re-education camp dur­ing China's Cultural Revolution.

And that is why China still uses my mother to torture me, even though I have lived in Washington, D.C., as a free Uyghur for more than 20 years. I have not seen her since 2004. I have been able to spend only 11 months — six months in California and five in Washington, D.C. — with my parents since I left China 27 years ago.

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