Uyghur Father Shocked to Find His Son in Chinese Propaganda Video

Pigeons in front of a mosque in Istanbul.

A Xinjiang-born Chinese national who lives in Turkey got the shock of his life when he spotted his son in a Chinese Communist Party propaganda video. (Image: Colourfulgreen via Pixabay)

Abdurahman Tohti is a Xinjiang-born Uyghur Chinese national who lives in Turkey. He has been cut off from his family for several years. In January this year, Tohti got the shock of his life when he spotted his son in a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda video.

Brainwashing Uyghur children

Tohti was a cotton farmer during his life in Xinjiang. In 2013, he immigrated to Turkey together with his family and got a job selling cars. A few years ago, his wife and two children went back to China for a visit. Tohti never heard from them again. He later found out that his wife had been detained and sent to prison, a fate that his parents also shared. Tohti never knew what happened to his kids.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

In January, Tohti was browsing Chinese social media when he spotted his son in a video that seems to have been recorded by a teacher. His son was speaking Chinese, a language that no one in his family spoke. Though he was excited to see his son, Tohti was soon gripped with fear since it seemed as if the child was being brainwashed in a state-run school. “What I fear the most… is that the Chinese government is teaching him to hate his parents and Uighur culture,” he said to The New York Times.

Uyghur children are being brainwashed in state-run schools.
It seemed as if the child was being brainwashed in a state-run school. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

Uyghur children being separated from parents and brainwashed

Tohti’s story is not a unique one. There are thousands of children who have been forcefully separated from their parents. Documents released last year showed that almost 400 kids had lost their parents to internment camps in just a single township. While the parents are brainwashed at the camps to give up their cultural identity, a parallel program carries out the same plan on the Uyghur children through the school system. In 2017, the number of children enrolled in kindergarten rose by more than half a million, with almost 90 percent of the kids being from the Uyghur community.

Boarding schools have been set up in many areas of Xinjiang. According to the government, these schools help in maintaining stability and peace. However, China expert Adrian Zenz points out that there is a sinister agenda behind these schools — the cultural re-engineering of Uyghur children. Since these kids are cut off from their families and are entirely under the control of the state in boarding schools, they can be influenced in any way the communist regime wants. Relatives are only allowed to visit the children once every one or two weeks. This is done so as to “break the impact of the religious atmosphere on children at home,” according to a state policy document from 2017.

New detention centers

A recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute revealed that there might be 380 “re-education” camps in Xinjiang, a whopping 40 percent more than earlier estimated. This would also mean that even more Uyghurs have been detained by the Chinese Communist Party. The new detention centers were identified through satellite imagery. About 50 percent of these new facilities have very high security, indicating that they are prison-style centers.

A satellite image showing the possible location of a detention camp.
According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the number of ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang appears to be 40 percent higher than previous estimates. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

Some facilities showed signs of security being rolled back, such as the removal of perimeter walls, internal fencing, and so on. However, most of these camps were low-security facilities. Courts in Xinjiang sentenced around 230,000 people to jail or some other form of punishment during 2017-2018, a far higher number than any other time in the past. In 2019, more than 95,000 people from the region faced criminal trials.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

A bronze statue of Plato.

The Life and Works of the Philosopher Plato, 427-347 B.C.

Plato was a Greek philosopher from Athens, the most famous student of Socrates, and the ...

From 'The Boy and the heron.'

The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki’s Latest Studio Ghibli Masterpiece

The Boy and the Heron might seem unfamiliar, but in just a matter of time, ...

A woman embracing a horse's head.

Equine Empathy: The Remarkable Connection of Horses to Human Emotions

You’ve likely heard that dogs are man’s best friend, but horses may be the most ...

A birdseye view of some Hong Kong school students during an excursion.

Hong Kong Students to Have More Compulsory ‘Red’ Study Trips to Mainland China

In April 2023, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Eric Chan bid farewell to about 200 Hong ...

This is an image of the comet known as C/2023 P1 (Nishimura).

Are We About to See the Rare Green Comet Nishimura Light Up the Sky?

Of all the objects in the Solar System, perhaps the most spectacular are the great ...

Mr. Yang.

Successful Entrepreneurs in China Lose Everything on Trumped-Up Charges (Part 1)

Mr. Yang, one of China’s highly successful entrepreneurs now living in exile, recounted how he ...

A closeup view of jail cell iron bars casting shadows on the prison floor.

Successful Entrepreneurs in China Lose Everything Overnight on Trumped-Up Charges (Part 2)

Mr. Yang said persecuted entrepreneurs like him are too numerous in his home province and ...

Stir-fried pebbles.

Stir-Fried Pebbles: Chinese Vendors Are Making a Dish Made of Stones

Chinese street food vendors have amused the world by creating a unique cuisine; stir-fried pebbles, ...

Chinese painting of Kou Zhun, an official during the Northern Song Dynasty.

The Inspirational Story of Kou Zhun’s Mother: A Lesson in Moral Education

China, with its 5,000-year-old civilization, has always been recognized for the importance it places on ...

Send this to a friend